Blood tests revealed that Manteufel had an infection caused by the bacteria capnocytophaga, which can come from the saliva of dogs. A report in the journal BMJ Case Reports in 2016 said these infections were an important cause of sepsis in the elderly, and described them as the "lick of death".
Greg Manteufel, of West Bend, Wisc., landed in the emergency room last month with what he thought was the flu, Fox 6 Now reported.
Within hours of arriving in the hospital, his body went into septic shock. "Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat". However, there have only been about 500 cases logged in the USA and Canada since 1976 of the bacteria causing sepsis when no dog bite was found. The bacteria dramatically slows down the body's blood circulation and decreases blood pressure.
Dawn Manteufel said that they are focued on what her husband has left, rather than what was taken away.
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Doctors say Greg Manteufel's case is simply a fluke. She said she didn't know which dog carried the bacteria, but that he had been around eight dogs at the time he got sick, including one that belongs to the couple.
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After discovering the Manteufels have a pet dog named Ellie, the medical staff told Dawn that her husband likely was infected after being licked.
"Sometimes it decreases so much that the arms and legs just die", said Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Doctors confirmed he contracted Capnocytophaga Canimorsus.
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"More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", Dr Munoz-Price explained.
According to the West Gate Pet Clinic, Capnocytophaga canimorsus infections are transmitted primarily through contact with a pet's saliva, generally through a bite wound, although infections may also be caused by a pet merely licking an open wound or burn.
Family friend Jason Marchand, who set up the page, said: 'Greg has held his head high and is taking all the news like a beast.
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