Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

An infection from a dog lick cost a man his limbs

An infection from a dog lick cost a man his limbs

"This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs", said Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist with Froedtert & MCW.

Doctors ran blood tests and discovered he'd become infected with a bacterial pathogen known as capnocytophaga canimorsus.

The infection caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop, and the circulation to his limbs decreased, causing those limbs to turn black. 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. When that wasn't enough either, doctors had to remove half of both forearms as well.

A Milwaukee-area man needed multiple amputations after contracting a rare blood infection after being licked by his dog. He had just undergone a surgery to remove dead tissue and muscle from what is left of his lower extremities.

Dawn, his wife, told Fox 6: "It hit him with a vengeance". Prosthetic limbs and more treatment at a rehabilitation centre still await him.

The family has since set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the operations and rehabilitation that Manteufel will need, and it's already raised over $10,000.

Within a week at the hospital, the 48-year-old who paints houses for a living and loves to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle lost his legs. "He had somehow contracted the bacteria Capnocytophaga Canimorsus", reads the post on the family's GoFundMe page. Manteufel also spent his entire life around dogs, which makes the blood infection all the more surprising.

The bacteria can be transmitted by biting, licking or even close contact with canines or felines. 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.

Doctors believe he most likely contracted the bacteria by a lick from his own dog. "More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", Munoz-Price said. Symptoms typically worsen rapidly.

According to a yarn from Fox News reporter Kasey Chronis, his devastating loss could have been caused by something as simple as being licked by his dog.

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