Bacteria in dog saliva causes Wisconsin man to lose both legs

Greg Manteufel

Greg Manteufel

To Dawn, it was as if her husband had just been beaten with a baseball bat. "He had somehow contracted the bacteria Capnocytophaga Canimorsus", reads the post on the family's GoFundMe page.

Doctors told him a blood infection had spread to all four of his limbs and, due extensive tissue and muscle damage, they would be forced to amputate all of his limbs.

Greg Manteufel's wife Dawn has described her husband as a very active person who enjoyed riding his motorcycle. And then his hands.

It's believed a blood infection that resulted in the amputation of a man's legs could have been contracted after he was licked by a dog. The bruises on his body were actually blood spots caused by the sepsis.

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Doctors said the infection was likely caused by being licked by his dog. "It's just chance", Munoz-Price said.

"Why him? Why did this happen to us?"

Through a blood test, doctors diagnosed the Wisconsin resident with an infection caused by Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria often found in dog and cat saliva. And it's usually not harmful to people. But in rare cases, the bacteria can poison the blood and cause death.

Manteufel's wife, Dawn, told the Post that at first he seemed to have the flu - with fever and vomiting on June 27. They said the woman recovered after two weeks of intensive care treatment and antibiotics. About the time he got sick, he had been around eight dogs, including one that belongs to the couple.

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For the past month, Manteufel has been at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

This was explained by one of the doctors that treated him in the hospital in West Bend, WI. "There's no negativity from him so far ..." He can no longer ride his Harley, or drive his stick-shift truck, or paint houses. Prosthetic limbs and more treatment at a rehabilitation centre still await him. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up and has generated nearly $30,000 as of Wednesday morning.

"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. These infections are more likely in people over 40 who have an immuno-compromised condition, or in people who excessively use alcohol or who have had their spleen removed, according to the CDC.

Symptoms typically occur within 3 to 5 days.

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The bacteria's transmission can occur through bites, licks or even close proximity to the animals.

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