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Dog bite victim suffers eye paralysis after catching rare disease

Canine tooth syndrome
Canine tooth syndrome

A Japanese man contracted a rare ocular disorder after being bitten by a dog — and his eye might have been permanently paralyzed had he not received proper treatment.

The 19-year-old, who has not been publicly named, was bitten on the left side of his face by a German shepherd, according to the American Journal of Case Reports. 

Doctors diagnosed the patient with “canine tooth syndrome,” a rare misalignment of the eyes, which can occur after a dog bite causes trauma to the upper eyelid.

“This is a variant of canine tooth syndrome that results from damage to the trochlear and superior oblique tendon due to dog bites around the eye,” the case report stated.

The trochlea and superior oblique are muscles responsible for eye movement.

After the incident, the patient went to a doctor and was treated with skin sutures on his forehead where the bite broke the skin.

The man now has misaligned eyes after being bitten by a dog. American Journal of Case Reports
The man now has misaligned eyes after being bitten by a dog. American Journal of Case Reports

Three days after being treated, the man returned to the doctor and said he suffered from double vision. Doctors noted that his left eyelid was swollen, and he was unable to move his left eye.

He also suffered from a hemorrhage underneath his eye after some blood vessels burst.

Doctors prescribed him antibiotics for five days, and an MRI revealed that the swelling around the man’s eye prevented him from moving it. He was given a two-week prescription for the anti-inflammatory prednisone to treat swelling.

The bite impacted the muscles in his left eyelid. American Journal of Case Reports
The bite impacted the muscles in his left eyelid. American Journal of Case Reports

The meds helped bring down the man’s swelling but his double vision remained and his eyes were misaligned. However, he had no permanent scarring on his eyeball.

Seven months later, doctors removed part of the injured muscles and his condition improved slightly.

Doctors said had they not intervened, the man’s left eye might have remained paralyzed. American Journal of Case Reports
Doctors said had they not intervened, the man’s left eye might have remained paralyzed. American Journal of Case Reports

Doctors said had they not intervened his eye may have remained permanently paralyzed.

“This case illustrates that dog bites around the eye can result in abnormalities of the extraocular muscles. Early MRI may be useful for diagnosis and determining treatment strategies. This case report highlights the importance of rapid assessment and management of patients with dog bites involving the eye,” the case study concluded.

The ocular disorder has only been reported around five times, and two of those incidents involved dog bites, hence the name canine tooth syndrome.