Rugby player, 33, spends Christmas in hospital ‘after a sudden flare-up of a wound on his leg that was infected by dog faeces 12 years ago’
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Dan Colbridge, 33, caught toxocariasis in 2007 while attending training session
- Antibiotics killed off the parasites but now prone to catching bacterial infections
- Mr Colbridge, from Bridgend, spent this Christmas in A&E after his leg flared up
An amateur rugby player spent Christmas in hospital after a wound that had been infected by dog faeces 12 years ago suddenly flared up.
Dan Colbridge, 33, was kept in hospital for nine days after his leg broke out in sore blisters and left him struggling to walk.
The father-of-two was first affected by cellulitis in 2007 after attending a training session with a small cut on his leg.
Without realising, he landed in the dog mess and harmful parasites entered his open wound. A few days later he was struck down with excruciating pain.
He was diagnosed with cellulitis caused by toxocariasis, a rare roundworm infection that entered his bloodstream. It can be spread through coming into contact with animal faeces.
Mr Colbridge, from Bridgend in Wales, was prescribed antibiotics and the infection eventually cleared up.
Dan Colbridge, 33, was kept in hospital for nine days over Christmas after a wound that had been infected by dog poo 12 years ago suddenly flared up. His children visited him during his hospital stint
The father-of-two was first affected by the injury in 2007 after attending a training session with a small cut on his leg. Without realising, he landed in the dog mess and harmful parasites entered his open wound
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. The father-of-two’s leg broke out in sore red blisters after contracting cellulitis in December. He has been prone to infections since the injury in 2007
But his immune system is thought to have been left permanently damaged, making him prone to bacterial infections.
Twelve years after beating toxocariasis, Mr Colbridge experienced persistent pain in the same part of his leg.
He was admitted to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend where he spent nine days waiting for his infection to go down.
Doctors told him that he once again had cellulitis, which caused the skin on his leg to swell and become painful to touch.
Cellulitis occurs when bacteria that live on the surface of the skin, most commonly streptococcus and staphylococcus, enter through a crack or break.
Anyone who has had the bacterial infection before has up to a 20 per cent chance of it returning.
Toxocariasis is a rare infection caused by roundworm parasites (Toxocara).
It is spread from animals to humans via their infected faeces.
Ocular larva migrans is the least common but potentially most serious type of toxocariasis.
The condition can develop if the roundworm parasites move into the eyes.
The main symptoms of ocular larva migrans are blurred or cloudy vision and irritation of the eyes.
Left untreated, ocular larva migrans can result in permanent vision loss, although only one eye is usually affected.
It affects around 50 people a year and usually affects young children.
Treatment involves taking medication to kill the parasites.
Most people will quickly make a full recovery and won’t experience any long-term complications.
Mr Colbridge missed Christmas Day at home with wife Amy and their two children, who insisted on waiting for him to come home before opening their presents.
Mrs Colbridge said: ‘Dan said he was feeling unwell and, even though it has been so many years since he was first infected, it does tend to flare up when he’s feeling run down.
‘It started looking really red and inflamed and he was in a lot of a pain. He has cellulitis bacterial skin infection, which lays dormant but can flare up.
‘The first time it flared up it was treated with antibiotics but this time it started blistering and he was struggling to walk.
‘He went into hospital a couple of days before hospital and was there for nine days. We’ve got two children and it was a really difficult Christmas, really stressful.’
She added: ‘This is all because some dog owners are irresponsible and lazy. They decide to take their dogs to playing fields to launch tennis balls and let them run free.
‘The problem is the ones that don’t clean up after them. This is the painful consequence for Dan – without him having to take time off work, Christmas being delayed with a nine-day hospital stay, and his reduced mobility.
‘But it could have been worse. There should be bigger fines and consequences for those that are so bone idle.’
Mr Colbridge still plays for Kenfig Hill Rugby Club and the team has over the years complained about dog owners allowing their pets to foul on their pitch.
He said: ‘Every time I am really ill it flares up again but this has been the worst time.
‘It’s been painful and a really strange feeling. I have to keep my leg elevated and when I try and get my leg down I have to do it in stages.
‘It’s fair to say this Christmas wasn’t the best. My two children (Ella-May, eight, and Xavier, 18 months) had to come and visit me in hospital on Christmas Day.
‘It wasn’t fun being in there for the holiday. But they waited until I came out of hospital three days later before opening their presents because they said they wanted to wait.’
The water treatment technician, who has had to take time off work until his leg fully recovers, also had a message for dog owners.
He said: ‘We’ve got a dog as well but we make sure we always take out plenty of bags with us when we take him out.
‘Dog mess has the potential to be so dangerous. If people let their dogs foul on playing fields it can be a risk to adults and children.
‘If it got into the eye of a child and they went blind how would they feel then?
‘You wouldn’t let a dog foul a playground so why would you let them foul on a playing field?’
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