Man Has Limbs Amputated After Getting 'Lick of Death'

Greg Manteufel likely contracted dangerous bacterial infection from a dog
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2018 7:54 AM CDT
Wis. Man May Have Lost Limbs Over a Dog Lick
Most people don't have to worry about this happening, doctors say.   (Getty Images/prospective56)

A Wisconsin man has lost his hands and legs after he likely received "the lick of death" from a dog, People reports. Per a GoFundMe created for Greg Manteufel, the 48-year-old house painter from West Bend started feeling sick on June 27; he and his family initially thought he had the flu, FOX6 notes. His symptoms soon worsened, however, and his wife, Dawn, rushed him to the ER, where they noticed his body was covered in bruises, "like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat," she says. Blood tests soon revealed the cause: Manteufel had gone into septic shock from the Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria, which Live Science notes is found in the mouths of nearly three-quarters of dogs and 57% of cats, though the animals themselves don't get sick from it. In humans, however, the bacteria can cause a blood infection, or sepsis, which can lead to organ failure and even death.

Doctors had to amputate Manteufel's legs at the knees; he also lost his hands, and his nose has to be reconstructed. "He told the doctors, 'Do what you have to do to keep me alive,'" Dawn Manteufel tells the Washington Post. She adds they don't know which dog infected her husband: They counted eight dogs he'd been around at the time he fell sick, including his own. The Manteufels will have to sell their house and look for a one-story home now, and Greg Manteufel will no longer be able to work as a house painter or cruise on his Harley. Still, Dawn Manteufel says, "There's no negativity from him so far." A Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin doctor tells FOX6 what happened to Manteufel was a fluke and that "more than 99% of the people [who] have dogs will never have this issue." The GoFundMe for Manteufel has raised more than $28,000. (Snoozing with your pet can be risky.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.