Man’s legs, hands amputated — all because dog licked him
Greg Manteufel loves dogs. But it was man’s best friend that caused him to lose his hands and legs.
Harmful bacteria from a dog’s saliva gave the Wisconsin man a rare blood infection that forced doctors to amputate, The Washington Post reports .
Most healthy dogs — and cats — carry the bacteria known as capnocytophaga canimorsus — in their saliva. And it’s usually not harmful to people. However, doctors say there are rare cases where the bacteria can poison the blood and be potentially fatal.
Manteufel’s wife, Dawn, told the Post that at first he seemed to have the flu — with fever and vomiting on June 27. The next morning, his temperature was high and he was delirious.
By the time she drove the 48-year-old to the hospital, he was showing bruising all over his body, as though he had been in a fight.
“Why him? Why did this happen to us?” Dawn Manteufel said.
The bacteria had seeped into Manteufel’s bloodstream, and caused sepsis. It was the sepsis that caused blood spots — the “bruises” Dawn saw on her husband. Doctors flooded his body with antibiotics to stop the infection, but clots stopped the blood flow to his extremities, which forced them to amputate Manteufel’s legs from the knee down, then his hands.
Doctors pumped him with antibiotics to stop the infection, his wife said, but clots blocked the flow of blood to his extremities, causing tissue and muscles to die.
To save his life, doctors were forced to amputate his legs from the knee down, then his hands.
Dawn told the Post that about the time of her husband’s illness he had been around eight dogs, and that any one of them could have licked him.
“He loves dogs. He would touch any dog; he doesn’t care,” she said of her husband of 15 years.
For the past month, Manteufel has been at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. 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.
His wife reports he remains in good spirits despite all that’s happened to him.
“He told the doctors, ‘Do what you have to do to keep me alive,’ ” Dawn Manteufel said. “There’s no negativity from him so far … He said, ‘It is what it is, so we have to move forward.’ ”
Because Manteufel faces more hosptial time and likely plastic surgery for his nose, which turned black from the sepsis. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up and has generated almost $30,000 as of Wednesday morning.
“There’s no choice. We have no choice but to be positive and make the best of it,” said Dawn Manteufel.
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at 724-226-4697, [email protected] or via Twitter @CPastrickTrib.