A Wisconsin man had several of his amputated after contracting a rare blood infection that was likely transmitted to him via his dog. A report in the journal BMJ Case Reports in 2016 said these infections were an important cause of sepsis in the elderly, and described them as the "lick of death".
Just one month ago, Greg Manteufel was a long way from a hospital bed.
Greg Manteufel loves dogs and had been around eight of them about the time he became ill, according to his wife Dawn Manteufel.
"We can't wrap our heads around it that all of the sudden, he's 48 years old and been around dogs all of his life and this happens", Dawn Manteufel said.
When his blood pressure dropped severely as a result of the septic infection, his limbs began to die.
Doctors say this case is simply a fluke.
The family has since set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the operations and rehabilitation that Manteufel will need, and it's already raised over $10,000.
"It took a week and they were taking his legs", Dawn Manteufel said.
Manteufel contracted Capnocytophaga canimorsus, but there are other species of the bacteria that cause lesser side effects compared to what he had to go through. "Within days of being admitted to the hospital while still fighting for his life, Greg first lost both feet, after a second surgery to remove more damage on legs, they amputated thru both Knee caps [sic]". His case is particularly unlucky because for the infection to be passed on the dog usually has to bite you.
Dr Silvia Munoz-Price, who treated Manteufel explained: 'This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs.
After discovering the Manteufels have a pet dog named Ellie, the medical staff told Dawn that her husband likely was infected after being licked. Possibly. If you own a cat or dog be aware that Capnocytophaga Canimorsus is a normal bacteria that grows in the mouth of up to 60% of dogs and 17% of cats. According to doctors, Manteufel just had bad luck.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated patients infected with the bacteria may have blisters around the bite wound, swelling, redness, fever, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle and joint pain. "More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", Munoz-Price said.