Most of us have probably experienced accidents in life where we were afraid that we may have lost a limb. We may even know somebody that is short a finger or two. For me personally, it was my high school shop teacher, who ended up having to point with the pinky on his right hand.
Although we may experience those types of accidents in life, it is typically an extreme circumstance that puts us in the line of fire. As you are about to see, however, it can sometimes happen from a most unexpected situation. That is what Greg Manteufel experienced because he lost a lot when his beloved pet, a pit bull, licked him.
Greg lives in Wisconsin and after being licked by his pit bull, he began getting sick. First, he thought it was the flu but when the symptoms continued to get worse, he knew that something more serious was taking place.
Dawn, who is the wife of Greg had the following to say: the illness “hit him with a vengeance” causing him to suffer from “bruising all over.” The bruising was so extreme that he was left looking “like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat.”
A week after being licked by his dog, Greg was in the hospital having both of his legs and his nose amputated.
His wife said: “We can’t wrap our heads around it that all of the sudden, he’s 48 years old and been around dogs all of his life… and this happens.”
The lick from his dog was affectionate, but it caused Greg a lot of problems. As a result of the saliva from the dog, he came in contact with the capnocytophaga bacteria and eventually, developed sepsis and lost circulation through his body.
Greg did not have any open wounds but the bacteria, which was in the dog saliva, was still dangerous. Doctors say that it is rare for someone to develop sepsis from capnocytophaga, especially if the skin has not been broken.
Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, a Wisconsin infectious disease expert, said: “More than 99 percent of the people who have dogs will never have this issue.” He then added, “It’s just chance.”
Once the circulation was lost in Greg’s body, the doctors had to amputate his nose and legs to save his life.
In part, it has to do with a drop in blood pressure and the physician said: “Sometimes it decreases so much that the arms and legs just die.”
You can learn more about the signs of sepsis in this video:
Capnocytophaga has the potential for being deadly but it is typically harmless. It is found in the saliva of about 60% of dogs and 17% of cats. What happened with Greg is extremely unusual.
Since 1976, there have only been 500 reported cases of sepsis from non-bite contact in humans in the United States and Canada.
Dawn recalled the incident: “[He] kept saying to the doctors – ‘Take what you need but keep me alive.’ And they did it. Surprisingly enough, they did do it.”
Since Greg is now a double amputee, his life has changed drastically. His wife is doing everything she can to ensure he gets prosthetic legs.
They even set up and GoFundMe page to help pay for his plastic surgery and prosthetic limbs.
The creator of the page, Jason Marchand said: “Greg has held his head high and is taking all the news like a beast. He is so thankful to be alive today and is taking one day at a time.”
Even though it is rare for this type of thing to occur, it is not rare for it to take place with other activities. For example, Philip Pike, a 59-year-old father from England had a small injury when he fell into a rose bush during a water fight. He knew that he was not feeling well and he only had scratches from the fall.
It wasn’t long before he had contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a type of flesh-eating bacterial infection. The tissues under a person’s muscles are affected and it can lead to organ failure and blood poisoning.
Philip ended up in a coma for two weeks and he lost parts of his toes, fingers and buttocks. He also needed to learn how to walk again and he now has a pacemaker.
Philip is fortunate because one in five people who suffer from necrotizing fasciitis die as a result of it.
The moral of the story is; if you aren’t feeling well and you have a bruise or cut that just aren’t making sense, you might want to get it checked out. You’re probably not going to lose a limb or your life but your life is worth the time it takes to get checked out.