A 48-year-old man from Wisconsin recently contracted a rare blood infection that led to the amputation of his legs and parts of his arms, according to news reports.
Doctors believe he most likely contracted the bacteria by a lick from his own dog.
Greg Manteufel thought he just a severe case of the flu.
Within hours, his body started going into septic shock.
Manteufel's wife, Dawn, said her husband was the picture of health before contracting the bacteria.
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. However, there have only been about 500 cases logged in the US and Canada since 1976 of the bacteria causing sepsis when no dog bite was found.
That response caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop, and the circulation in his limbs to decrease rapidly. "It took a week, and they were taking his legs", said Dawn Manteufel.
Less than 1,000 cases of such infections from non-bite wounds have been documented in North America since doctors began tracking it in the mid-1970s.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover his many surgeries and prosthetic for his hands and legs - which he'll be fitted for once he recovers from sepsis. "People with a weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill", the agency says.
Do you let your dog lick you?
"This type of bacteria comes from the saliva of dogs".
Dawn Manteufel said that within one week, her husband's legs were gone, followed by more surgeries to remove portions of his hands, and then half of both forearms. "This infection in his blood triggered a very severe response on his body", Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, told the Milwaukee Patch. Later, doctors had to amputate through to the kneecaps.
The bacteria, called Capnocytophaga canimorsus, "just attacked him", Dawn said, and it did so quickly and aggressively.
Capnocytophaga canimorsus is commonly transmitted by dog bites and is usually life-threatening to people who suffer from alcoholism or are asplenic, meaning their spleens don't function normally.