A West Bend, Wisconsin man had all his limbs amputated after contracting a serious bacterial infection from likely a mere dog lick. According to their GoFundMe page, the family of 48-year-old Greg Manteufel said he became ill in late June and fell into septic shock.
The relatively rare infection with the bacterium, Capnocytophaga canimorsus, “hit him with a vengeance”, according to Greg’s wife, Dawn. Within days of being admitted to the hospital while still fighting for his life, Greg first lost both feet, after a second surgery to remove more damage on legs, they amputated thru both Knee caps. Surgery is scheduled to remove a portion of both hands as the damage from the sepsis is to extensive. In addition, Greg’s nose will also need extensive repairs.
What is Capnocytophaga?
Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a relatively new reported pathogen (the first case reported about 40 years ago). It has been isolated from the saliva of healthy dogs and cats.
It is for the most part considered an opportunistic pathogen, causing little problems with healthy individuals, usually causing the most severe disease in those with a predisposing condition; splenectomy, chronic alcohol abuse, or immune system problems (steroid therapy, blood malignancies and AIDS).
Splenectomized individuals are 30 to 200 times more prone to die from bacterial infections because the spleen produces cells that become antibody-producing cells. Also the spleen is integral is sending out macrophages (cells that engulf and destroy foreign substances like bacteria in the bloodstream).
The clinical illness is typically one of severe septicemia, shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Other manifestations of the disease include cellulitis, gangrene, meningitis and brain abscesses. The infection with Capnocytophaga carries a 27% chance of being fatal.
This infection should be considered if a person is severely ill after a history of a dog bite (or cat bite) exposure. Good news is it is treatable with antibiotics.
The family writes that Greg’s recovery will be a very long process and he will need his family by his side, they will need help financially to be able to be with him during the coming months with surgeries as well as waiting to be fitted for leg and hand prosthesis which will allow him to become independent again.
If you’d like to help, visit their GoFundMe page.
- Toxocara in the UK: A discussion with Dr Ian Wright
- Southern Ontario dogs infected with dangerous tapeworm
- Tularemia: Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease
- Chicago suburb reports sightings of ‘Zombie dogs’ which are actually coyotes with mange
- Dog flu 101: An interview with Dr Cynda Crawford