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A rugby player says his leg has 'never been right' two decades after a sporting injury became infected by dog poo.
Now Darryl Adams, 50, has urged dog owners to be mindful and pick up after their pets as part of a national dog fouling campaign.
The HGV driver from Abertillery, Wales, was hospitalised in 2005 after his shin was stamped on by studs from a rugby boot covered in dog excrement during a game which took place in a Blaenau Gwent playing field.
The studs pierced the skin on his shin, and the accompanying dog poo ended up causing a cellulitis infection, which he says has never properly healed.
Mr Adams said: “I ended up having a week in hospital and 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 a heavy case of the flu to trigger it again, 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.
"That’s why I’m backing Keep Wales Tidy’s dog fouling campaign to urge dog owners to do the right thing and pick up after their pets before more people are seriously harmed.”
Dog poo remains a persistent issue in communities across the country and Keep Wales Tidy, the national dog fouling campaign, aims to raise awareness of the health risks associated with dog poo.
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.
Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive Lesley Jones said: “We urge the minority of irresponsible dog owners to do the right thing and pick up after their pets.
"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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