Wisconsin man has limbs amputated after dog lick leads to severe infection, doctors say

Infection caused by bacteria found in mouths of dogs and cats


WEST BEND, Wis. – A Wisconsin man needed multiple amputations after contracting a blood infection that likely came from his own dog, doctors said.

Greg Manteufel, 48, was perfectly healthy as of late June, said his wife Dawn, until what they initially thought was the flu landed him in the emergency room.

"It hit him with a vengeance. Just bruising all over him," Dawn Manteufel told Fox 6 Now. "Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat."

Manteufel had contracted an infection caused by the bacteria capnocytophaga, blood tests revealed. According to doctors, this type of bacteria lives in the mouths of dogs and cats, and likely entered Manteufel's system by him getting licked by his own dog.

The bacteria does not make dogs or cats sick, but can cause illness in people with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can be spread to humans through bites, scratches, or close contact with dogs or cats.

People infected with the bacteria may experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache or muscle pain, according to the CDC. If bitten, people may develop blisters, redness or swelling at the bite wound. Most people with the infection will show symptoms within 3-5 days, and some infections can lead to death within 72 hours after symptoms start.

Doctors said they were forced to amputate Manteufel's legs and portions of his hands after the infection caused his blood pressure to drop and the circulation in his limbs to decrease rapidly.

"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 told Fox 6 Now.

Doctors said Greg's case is simply a fluke and that more than 99 percent of people that have dogs will never experience this issue.

The Manteufels have started a GoFundMe campaign for Greg's medical expenses. The family says he requires several more surgeries. As of Wednesday morning, the campaign has raised over $30,000 of a $50,000 goal.

Watch Fox 6 Now's report below:

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