WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A 50-year-old rugby player has revealed how an infection from dog faeces left him unable to play for years.
Grandfather Darryl Adams, from Wales, was hospitalised in 2005 after his shin was stamped on with rugby boot studs covered in dog poo during a game in a Blaenau Gwent playing field.
The poo, which had been left on the field by a negligent dog owner, infected the cuts made by the boot on his skin and caused a cellulitis infection.
"I ended up having a week in hospital," Darryl said.
"The doctor who treated me said that once you get cellulitis, all it takes is something small to trigger it off again.
"The infection flared up twice between 2005 and 2013.
"The last flare up in 2013 was the worst. All it took was heavy flu to trigger it and I was hospitalised for two weeks because the infection had tracked into my veins.
"Ever since then my leg has never been right, it is constantly swollen and looks awful – all from some selfish person who couldn't be bothered to pick up after their dog."
Darryl is now taking part in Keep Wales Tidy's campaign to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets.
As well as carrying harmful bacteria which can lead to infection, asthma and even blindness, bacteria can live in soil long after the dog poo has decomposed.
'Dangerous': Dog owners warned
Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Lesley Jones spoke about why it was so important people cleaned up after their pets.
"We urge the minority of irresponsible dog owners to do the right thing and pick up after their pets," Lesley said.
"By not picking up after your dog, you could be putting people at risk.
"Darryl's story highlights just how harmful dog poo can be for people. Dog poo isn't just an unpleasant mess, it can be dangerous.
"Please bag it, bin it and leave only paw prints when you're out and about."
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