Bacteria in dog saliva causes Wisconsin man to lose both legs

Greg Manteufel

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

Doctors believe he most likely contracted the bacteria by a lick from his own dog.

Greg Manteufel, of West Bend, Wisc., landed in the emergency room last month with what he thought was the flu, Fox 6 Now reported. "Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat".

Capnocytophaga Canimorsus is a bacteria commonly found in dogs, cats and humans, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The response caused his blood pressure to drop and circulation in his limbs to decrease quickly.

"We can't wrap our heads around it", Dawn Manteufel told the reporters.

Dawn says what happened to her husband was a fluke.

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"This bacteria caused the sepsis in Greg's body that has completely changed not only Greg's life but his entire family's as well", states a GoFundMe page set up by Manteufel's loved ones.

The 48-year-old has had to have all four of his limbs amputated.

Capnocytophaga Canimorsus, a bacterial pathogen, is typically found in the saliva of cats and dogs. Anyone bitten by a dog is urged to seek medical attention immediately even if they feel fine.

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. It took a week and they were taking his legs.

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. Within a week, doctors had to amputate his legs and had to undergo surgery to remove a portion of his hands, as well as half of his forearms. According to doctors, Manteufel just had bad luck.

"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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