Man loses limbs after contracting an infection from a dog lick

Nora Nguyen
August 2, 2018

A Wisconsin man had to have all of his limbs amputated when he contracted a rare blood infection from his pet dog's saliva, according to a report.

The Washington Post reported that Greg Manteufel's symptoms started with a fever and vomiting.

His wife, Dawn Manteufel spoke with Fox 6 about his symptoms, stating that the disease hit him with vengeance, bruising him all over. Blood tests revealed that a bacterial pathogen found in saliva of healthy dogs and cats had caused the infection.

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"Rarely, Capnocytophaga species can spread to humans through bites, scratches, or close contact from a dog or cat and cause illness". The amputations were necessary after the infection caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop drastically, which severely reduced blood flow to his limbs and led to tissue death. "It took a week, and they were taking his legs", Dawn said.

Doctors say this case is simply a fluke.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to raise funds for prosthetic legs and plastic surgery on Greg's nose. 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 confirmed he contracted Capnocytophaga Canimorsus. Now, after losing both legs and parts of both hands as well as his nose, Manteufel faces a long road to recovery and rehabilitation. In fact, up to 74 percent of dogs and up to 57 percent of cats have Capnocytophaga detected in their mouths.

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The CDC calls these rare infections "opportunistic", striking people who have compromised immune systems such as individuals with HIV, cancer, people who have had their spleens removed and sometimes heavy drinkers.

"This infection in his blood triggered a very severe response on his body", Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist, told Fox 6 Now. Doctors were forced to amputate his legs through the kneecap, and damage to his hands necessitates amputation of fingers. Manteufel also spent his entire life around dogs, which makes the blood infection all the more surprising. "It's just chance", Dr. Munoz-Price added.

Jason Marchand, the page's creator, said: "Greg has held his head high and is taking all the news like a beast". More than 99-percent of the people who have dogs will never have this issue.

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