Bacteria in dog saliva causes Wisconsin man to lose both legs

Trevor BaileyAug 03, 2018

Within a week, doctors told him they had to cut off his legs - as the disease, which caused 48-year-old Manteufel's blood pressure to plummet and the circulation in his limbs to dramatically decrease. Manteufel hopes to eventually be outfitted with prosthetic limbs, but he has a long way to go before that can happen. His wife, Dawn Manteufel, said he was perfectly healthy.

He said that people with low immune systems should be careful, as they could be vulnerable to an infection.

Do you let your dog lick you?

But in exceedingly rare circumstances, that lick can lead to a unsafe and potentially lethal infection from a common bacteria. As the bacteria spread, Manteufel also had to have both hands amputated.

Mr Manteufel's wife, Dawn, said her husband was the picture of health before contracting the bacteria. The Post reports that after surgery to remove dead tissue from what's left of his extremities, doctors are planning two more surgeries to clean more.

Avid biker Greg Manteufel was forced to have the bottom of his legs amputated below the knee after capnocytophaga - a terrible bacteria - caused him to lose all blood circulation there through sepsis. Doctors said Greg's case is simply a fluke.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, told the station: "This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs".

Manteufel remains in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries.

As we learned from a GoFundMe page set up for Manteufel, he thought at first he was suffering from the flu. In fact, up to 74 percent of dogs and up to 57 percent of cats have Capnocytophaga detected in their mouths.

"He is so thankful to be alive today and is taking one day at a time", it reads. "He had somehow contracted the bacteria Capnocytophaga Canimorsus", reads the post on the family's GoFundMe page.

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. Contact with a dog's saliva, which is likely what happened to Greg Manteufel, is enough to cause an infection.

"More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", she said.

Symptoms typically occur within 3 to 5 days.

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