One of life’s greatest pleasures is playing with dogs. They offer us humans their unconditional love and friendship and ask for nothing in return. It’s no wonder that they’re called man’s best friend. However, what should have been harmless fun ended in tragedy for dog owner Jaco Nel.

While playing with his dog, the 50-year-old from Chorlton, Manchester, obtained a small cut. As I’m sure most dog owners can attest to, this is nothing unusual. Dogs can get feisty when playing with their owners, especially if it’s tug of war, and Jaco brushed it off as nothing serious.

But horrifyingly, Jaco ended up developing a life-threatening condition as a result of this cut after it became infected with his cocker spaniel’s saliva. Jaco developed sepsis, which affects a million Americans every year, and 15 to 30 percent of them do not live to tell the tale.

Check out the video below to discover the symptoms of this terrifying illness:

“I started to feel hot and cold. I was shivering yet I could not get warm,” said Jaco. “My whole body was aching. I thought it was the flu so I went home to bed.”

However, it wasn’t long before Jaco’s condition took a dramatic turn for the worse and that was when his partner Michael called an ambulance.