Man's Legs, Hands Amputated After Infection Caused by Bacteria in Dog Saliva

A Wisconsin man had his lower legs and hands amputated after developing a rare blood infection caused by bacteria in dog saliva.

He first developed flu-like symptoms such as fever and vomiting. By the next morning, his temperature had soared and he was delirious. After his wife rushed him to the hospital, she noticed his body was covered in bruises, as if he'd been beaten with a baseball bat, the Washington Post reported.

Within a week, Manteufel's legs were amputated from the knees down. Then doctors had to remove his hands.

Doctors diagnosed Manteufel with a rare blood infection caused by bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus that's commonly found in the saliva of most healthy dogs and is usually not harmful to humans, the Post reported.

But in Manteufel's case, the bacteria got into his bloodstream, triggering blood poisoning (sepsis). The bruises on his body were actually blood spots caused by the sepsis.

Manteufel was given antibiotics to fight the infection, but clots blocked blood flow to his extremities, resulting in tissue and muscle death and the need to amputate his legs and hands in order to save his life, the Post reported.

Greg Manteufel loves dogs and had been around eight of them about the time he became ill, according to his wife Dawn Manteufel. It's not clear which dog was carrying the bacteria.

She told the Post that doctors said her husband's case was a "crazy fluke."

Greg Manteufel has been at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for about a month. He recently had surgery to remove dead tissue and muscle from his leg amputations. This week, he will have two more surgeries to remove dead tissue, the Post reported.

He may also require nose reconstruction surgery because lack of blood flow caused it to turn black, his wife said.

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