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Man has all limbs amputated after dog's lick leads to infection

01 August 2018

48-year-old Greg Manteufel is a dog lover and never expected that he will lose his limbs after his pet licked him.

Most healthy dogs - and cats - carry the bacteria known as capnocytophaga canimorsus - in their saliva.

In just a few days, the bacteria spread and Manteufel was fighting for his life.

A GoFundMe page set up to cover his mounting medical bills said "Greg has held his head high and taking the news like a beast" despite the panic and chaos.

Dawn Manteufel said that within one week, her husband's legs were gone, followed by more surgeries to remove portions of his hands, and then half of both forearms.

Doctors snapped into action, first amputating both feet to stop the infection from spreading. And the most likely source of the devastating infection was his own dog.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, told WITI that Manteufel's case is an extremely rare occurrence and that pet owners need not panic. 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 hit him with a vengeance". Once they arrived, Dawn Manteufel said she noticed bruises - several of them, all over his body - that weren't there when they left their house just five minutes earlier. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the bacteria Capnocytophaga live in the mouths of dogs and cats. Heavy drinkers, people who have had their spleens removed, and individuals with HIV or cancer are most at risk for contracting the infection. However, these infections in humans are extremely rare.

"He kept just saying, 'Take what you need, but keep me alive.' And they did it - surprisingly enough, they did do it", Dawn Manteufel said. Officials say three in ten people who get infected die from it.

Dawn told the Post that about the time of her husband's illness he had been around eight dogs, and that any one of them could have licked him. It's not clear which dog was carrying the bacteria. "But this is unusual because it was a lick", said Farber, who was not involved in the woman's case.

Man has all limbs amputated after dog's lick leads to infection