Toddler Infected By Playground Dog Mess Could Go Blind

18/08/2010 15:34 | Updated 22 May 2015

A toddler could lose one of her eyes after getting a rare infection from dog mess in a park playground.

Amiee Langdon, who turns two next week, put her hand down as she tumbled over, then wiped her left eye.

Aimee, who was playing in a gated children's area in Fallowfield, Manchester was diagnosed with a potentially deadly infection that could spread to her brain.

Hospital tests confirmed toxocariasis, an infection which is spread by dog dirt. It resulted in optical lobe cellulosis, which can lead to blindness and even death if not treated within 72 hours.

Amiee, whose eye has been almost closed by the swelling, is being treated with three antibiotics at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. Her mum Suzanne, 29, a nurse recovering from treatment for womb cancer, has pleaded with dog owners to act more responsibly.

"Amiee's condition is the consequence of a thoughtless dog owner. How can I explain to a two-year-old that she will be unable to see out of one eye ever again? I just want to raise awareness and make people think about what their dogs leave behind.

"With cellulosis, if you don't spot it early it can lead to blindness within 72 hours and can also kill. The nurses said that there has been an increase recently in children being admitted with the symptoms."

Amiee got off a slide and was running towards the gate when she tripped and fell. Suzanne said: "She wiped her eye before I could get to her. I wiped her eye and face as fast as I could and then took her straight home to bathe her eye. It was just awful. There is a sign saying 'no dogs' near the entrance to the play area."

Amiee started to display flu-like symptoms the following day then awoke screaming in the early hours.

Suzanne said: "I turned the light in her bedroom on and her eye was completely swollen shut and purple. I took her straight to A&E. I told the doctors what happened and they took an eye swab and sent the cultures to the lab. They came out positive for cellulosis. Her eye is still very swollen and it seems to be getting worse. Her left cheek has also gone red.

She is on three lots of antibiotics, two orally and one straight into her eye.

"The doctors are hopeful that it will clear it. If it doesn't work then they will try another course.If they can't stop it spreading to her optic nerve and brain, they will remove her eye."

Suzanne has been at Amiee's bedside 24 hours a day but doesn't know how long the little girl will be kept in hospital.

Suzanne said: "I just want awareness of the possible consequences. The councils need to get tougher and really hammer the message home. It is a rare thing now, although there does seem to be an increase according to the nurses.

"It is all caused by dog owners. I just want them to clean up so this never happens again."

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