48-year-old Greg Manteufel is a dog lover and never expected that he will lose his limbs after his pet licked him. And the most likely source of the devastating infection was his own dog.
According to medical experts, Greg Manteufel, of West Bend, Wisconsin, went to the emergency room last month after he thought he contracted the flu.
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. The disease can cause a very bad sepsis infection, but usually in people who are immunocompromised and usually follows a dog bite.
"There's no choice. We have no choice but to be positive and make the best of it", said Dawn Manteufel, who had used all her vacation days from her job as a correctional officer at Washington County Jail in West Bend.
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But an animal hybrid doesn't necessarily mean a new species - not even established hybrids, such as the mule. He said: "That isn't the case, although there are example where hybridisation has resulted in a new species".
However, doctors say there are rare cases where the bacteria can poison the blood and be potentially fatal. She said life as they knew it changed forever.
Manteufel has undergone several surgeries to amputate his legs and arms. Dr Sylvia Munoz-Price said: "This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs". Within a week, doctors had to amputate his legs and had to undergo surgery to remove a portion of his hands, as well as half of his forearms. Manteufel also spent his entire life around dogs, which makes the blood infection all the more surprising.
The bacteria, called Capnocytophaga canimorsus, "just attacked him", Dawn said, and it did so quickly and aggressively. 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.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Greg buy replacement prosthetic legs.
Capnocytophaga can cause opportunistic infections, meaning they have to have the right conditions to cause an infection, such as when a person has a weakened immune system. While the infection had been seen before in people who'd been bitten by dogs, the doctors noted it was highly unusual that this woman apparently contracted it from her dog who had licked her.