Wisconsin Man Loses Legs, Portion Of Hands After Lick From Dog

Wisconsin Man Loses Legs, Portion Of Hands After Lick From Dog

"These bacteria cause opportunistic infections, which means they have to have the right conditions to cause an infection, such as in a person with a weakened immune system", the CDC website says.

Greg Manteufel went to the emergency room last month for flu-like symptoms, WITI reported.

48-year-old Manteufel began to go into septic shock as the mysterious symptoms continued to worsen.

"It took a week and they were taking his legs", Dawn Manteufel, his wife, told local news outlet Fox 6 Now. To Dawn, it was as if her husband had just been beaten with a baseball bat.

However, after doctors conducted several tests, they discovered Manteufel had actually picked up a infection from the bacteria capnocytophaga, which is commonly found in dog and cat saliva.

"Rarely, Capnocytophaga species can spread to humans through bites, scratches, or close contact from a dog or cat and cause illness". In Manteufel's case, it caused a critical drop in blood pressure and circulation.

His family said they were hoping the surgeries would stop there, however after further analysis, surgeons made the decision to amputate to mid-forearm on both arms "due to extensive damage to the tissues and muscles".

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"He told the doctors, 'Do what you have to do to keep me alive, '" Dawn Manteufel said. She said she didn't know which dog carried the bacteria, but that he had been around eight dogs at the time he got sick, including one that belongs to the couple. Doctors would eventually be forced to remove parts of Manteufel's lower legs and nose as well.

Within a week of being in the hospital, doctors first amputated Greg's feet and then his legs up to his kneecaps.

Manteufel's GoFundMe page states that Capnocytophaga canimorsus is fairly common and grows in the mouths of up to 60 percent of dogs and 17 percent of cats.

Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price stated this was a very rare case. His case is particularly unlucky because for the infection to be passed on the dog usually has to bite you.

The chances of contracting this bacteria from a dog are very slim, with more than 99 percent of dog owners never having this issue, according to Munoz-Price.

The family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for future surgeries, therapy and hand and leg prosthetics.

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