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‘Lick of death’: Why Greg lost his legs and hands

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Wisconsin Greg Manteufel’s symptoms began with fever and vomiting, as if he had the flu. By the following morning, he was delirious, and his temperature had soared.

His wife rushed him to the hospital, a quick drive from their Wisconsin home. Once they arrived, Dawn Manteufel said she noticed bruises – several of them, all over his body – that weren’t there when they left their house just five minutes earlier. To Dawn, it was as if her husband had just been beaten with a baseball bat.

Within a week at the hospital, the 48-year-old who paints houses for a living and loves to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle lost his legs. And then his hands.

Greg Manteufel suffered a rare blood infection after harmful bacteria from a dog’s saliva seeped into his bloodstream, causing sepsis, or blood poisoning.

Greg Manteufel in hospital.

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A healthy man was licked by his dog. He was dead within weeks

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

The 63-year-old man showed up in the hospital with a burning sensation in his left leg and muscle pain in both legs. His flu-like symptoms were severe, with laboured breathing for three days. He had petechiae, or rounds spots on the skin that look like rashes as a result of bleeding capillaries, which made his legs look discoloured.

The patient’s heartbeat was stable, doctors said, even though he was running a temperature of 38.8 degrees. His laboured breathing caused an inadequate supply of oxygen to his tissue. His failing kidneys were not producing urine, researchers wrote.

The man was infected with a type of bacteria found in the saliva of healthy dogs and cats.

The man was infected with a type of bacteria found in the saliva of healthy dogs and cats.Credit:iStock

But doctors had no idea what was wrong with him. He had not recently been in the hospital. They suspected some kind of bacteria, but he didn’t have any open wounds and he didn’t have meningitis.

It wasn’t until his fourth day in the hospital that a blood test revealed that the man had a type of bacteria found in the saliva of healthy dogs and cats. It’s a kind of bacteria that’s usually only transmitted to humans if they are bitten.

But the German man is dead because his dog licked him.

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