Man's legs amputated after dog's licks lead to infection, family says

Greg Manteufel

Greg Manteufel

A Wisconsin man had to have all his limbs amputated after he contracted a severe infection, likely from a dog lick.

Greg Manteufel went to the emergency room last month for flu-like symptoms, WITI reported. "Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat", the patient's wife, Dawn Manteufel said, via WHNT.

Doctors told them Manteufel was having complications from an infection that was later discovered to have come from a bacteria called capnocytophaga found in dog saliva. However, there have only been about 500 cases logged in the US and Canada since 1976 of the bacteria causing sepsis when no dog bite was found.

It caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop and the circulation in his limbs to decrease rapidly.

"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.

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Less than 1,000 cases of such infections from non-bite wounds have been documented in North America since doctors began tracking it in the mid-1970s.

The Manteufel family created a GOFUNDME account to raise money for medical expenses.

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.

Within a week, Manteufel's legs were amputated from the knees down. Doctors were forced to amputate his legs through the kneecap, and damage to his hands necessitates amputation of fingers. He had developed a severe infection of the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which is common in dog saliva, and that infection turned septic. If you would like to donate to Manteufel medical care, you can do so through the families GoFundMe page. "It's just chance", she told the station. In fact, it can also be found in human mouths, and is usually not harmful - it causes what's known as "opportunistic infections", normally only affecting people with weakened immune systems.

"Furthermore, all areas of Greg's body and tissue was affected by the bacteria and the sepsis, the [doctors] say his nose will need extensive repairs, which means he will need plastic surgery to rebuild a new healthy nose". While the infection had been seen before in people who'd been bitten by dogs, the doctors noted it was highly unusual that this woman apparently contracted it from her dog who had licked her.

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