Wisconsin man loses four limbs
More surgeries ahead after dog lick leads to rare blood infection.
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin man was preparing for additional surgeries after having part of his legs and forearms amputated because of a dog lick that led to a rare blood infection, his wife said last week.
Greg Manteufel, 48, has been hospitalized since late June, when he went to a Milwaukee-area hospital with flu-like symptoms. He was in good spirits despite having undergone seven surgeries, said his wife, Dawn Manteufel.
She said her husband still has several more surgeries to go, but that he was looking forward to being fitted for prosthetic limbs.
“He’s happy to be here. He said he didn’t come this far to cry about it and say, ‘Why me?’ ” she said.
Her husband was diagnosed with a blood infection caused by capnocytophaga, bacteria that is common in the saliva of cats and dogs but almost never leads to illness, said Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an epidemiologist with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, where Manteufel is being treated.
The doctor said animal lovers have no need to panic: They’re more likely to die in a car accident than to be infected by the bacteria.
“It’s extremely rare. Do not get rid of your pets. Continue behaving the same way that you have behaved with your pets up until now,” Munoz-Price said.
Dawn Manteufel said her husband’s symptoms began June 26, with a fever and pain in his legs.
But then he started experiencing delirium, and bruises and blemishes developed during the short car ride to a hospital in West Bend, Wis., where he was treated initially, she said.
The infection caused Greg Manteufel’s blood pressure to drop and circulation in his limbs to rapidly decrease, which in itself isn’t unusual for blood infections, Munoz-Price said.
Greg Manteufel, 48, faces more surgeries after contracting a rare blood infection from a dog lick. The tip of his nose also lost blood circulation and will need surgery to repair.