A Wisconsin man had his lower legs and hands amputated after developing a rare blood infection caused by bacteria in dog saliva.
He first developed flu-like symptoms such as fever and vomiting. By the next morning, his temperature had soared and he was delirious. After his wife rushed him to the hospital, she noticed his body was covered in bruises, as if he’d been beaten with a baseball bat, the Washington Post reported.
Within a week, Manteufel’s legs were amputated from the knees down. Then doctors had to remove his hands.
Doctors diagnosed Manteufel with a rare blood infection caused by bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus that’s commonly found in the saliva of most healthy dogs and is usually not harmful to humans, the Post reported.
Transmission of Capnocytophaga may occur through bites, licks, or even close proximity with animals. C. canimorsus generally has low virulence in healthy individuals but has been observed to cause severe illness in persons with pre-existing conditions.
Approximately 26% of dogs carry this commensal bacteria in their mouths. There have been a few cases of infection reported in rabbits after being bitten by dogs. C. canimorsus rarely causes disease-like symptoms in animals but can cause serious problems in humans.
But in Manteufel’s case, the bacteria got into his bloodstream, triggering blood poisoning (sepsis). The bruises on his body were actually blood spots caused by the sepsis.
Manteufel was given antibiotics to fight the infection, but clots blocked blood flow to his extremities, resulting in tissue and muscle death and the need to amputate his legs and hands in order to save his life,…