Bacteria in dog saliva causes man to lose legs

Bacteria in dog saliva causes man to lose legs

You might think twice after what happened to a Wisconsin man. Greg Manteufel lost both his legs after being licked by a dog.

"These bacteria cause opportunistic infections, which means they have to have the right conditions to cause an infection, such as in a person with a weakened immune system", the CDC website says.

On June 27th 2018 the Manteufel family experienced a medical emergency when Greg started feeling ill, within hours of the onset of symptoms, Greg's body started to go into septic shock. His wife, Dawn Manteufel, said he was perfectly healthy.

"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.

Through a blood test, doctors diagnosed Manteufel with an infection caused by Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria often found in dog and cat saliva.

The infection caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop and circulation to his limbs decreased.

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Dawn Manteufel said that they are focued on what her husband has left, rather than what was taken away. "Surgery is scheduled to remove a portion of both hands as the damage from the sepsis is too extensive", according to a GoFundMe page set up for his family.

Dawn said that despite the multiple surgeries and long road of rehab ahead, her her husband feels lucky to be alive. Doctors confirmed he contracted Capnocytophaga Canimorsus. The majority of dogs are known to carry the Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria in their mouths, and a quick lick is all it would take for that bacteria to be transmitted.

It was discovered that a life threatening infection had spread to all his limbs and due to muscle and tissue loss they had to be amputated. Manteufel also spent his entire life around dogs, which makes the blood infection all the more surprising.

"Sometimes it decreases so much that the arms and legs just die", Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price told WITI. It's just [a fluke],' said Dr Munoz-Price.

"More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms will typically appear within three to five days, but can take up to two weeks to present themselves.

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

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