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This Can Happen when a Dog Licks You

by CM 10 days ago in feature
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Dog kisses cost this man his nose, hands, and bottom of his legs after sepsis developed from a bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus

Photo: Fox News

Dog kisses cost this man his nose, hands, and bottom of his legs after sepsis developed from a bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus

“I don’t blame any dog … I don’t want people to be scared of their dogs,” he said. “I want them to be aware of it but not scared.”- Greg Mantefeul

Pet owners consider slobbery wet kisses from their dogs and cats to be signs of endearment and affection. Resisting this special kind of love from a pet is especially difficult, although taking such a stance can potentially save your life.

Dogs and cats carry a bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus in their saliva. It’s common and harmless to animals but can be fatal when it comes in contact with human skin. A rare disease, Capnocytophaga canimorsusis reported at a rate of 0.5–0.7 cases per million people each year, most common amongst people with weakened immune systems. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported just 12 cases. In fact, you are more likely to win the lottery five times in one day than develop this rare disease.

Capnocytophaga canimorsus most often enter the bloodstream through an open wound or a dog bite.

A Wisconsin man lost his nose, legs, and hands after a Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacterial infection developed into sepsis and nearly killed him.

In June 2018, Greg Mantefeul developed flu-like symptoms late one evening. He went to bed hoping to sleep off his aches and pains. Manteufeul woke up several times vomiting but managed to fall back asleep.

Photo: USAToday

A few hours passed when Greg’s son Michael attempted to wake him. Greg did not wake up and responded to him with gibberish. Michael rushed his father to an emergency room at a local hospital.

Greg appeared as though he was the victim of a brutal attack when he arrived at the hospital; his skin purple and blue. Doctors immediately recognized the signs of sepsis and began feeding him intravenous antibiotics. He learned that he had only about three more hours to live without medical treatment.

The antibiotics had little effect on the infection. The pressure on Greg’s legs increased, eventually turning them black. His arms and hands soon followed, then his nose turned black. The tissue underneath his skin was dying, leaving doctors little choice but to remove parts of his limbs to preserve his body parts the best they could.

Manteufel said the weekend before his symptoms he had been around a group of dogs at a pond, all of which he decided to pet. He did not have open wounds on his skin nor did the pets bite him. So how did that serious infection cause him so much grief?

Manteufel says:

“I think what happened was I might have rubbed my eye or touched my mouth or something and I think that’s how it got in my system. Because normally they say you have to get bit, scratched or an open wound for this to affect you, and I didn’t have any of the three.”

I’m sure you wonder how Manteufel feels about animals, namely dogs, since this incident. Like most animal lovers, he said his feelings toward dogs have not changed and he’s still a huge fan of the animal.

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