Health

He Lost His Hands and Legs to a Canine Infection. But He Says He'll 'Always Love Dogs'

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A Wisconsin man who lost his hands and legs after contracting a rare, dog-related infection says the incident won’t keep him away from pups.

“I can’t just stop liking dogs because this happened,” Greg Manteufel told CNN. “I’ll always love dogs.”

When Manteufel arrived at Wisconsin’s Froedtert Hospital in June, parts of his face, chest and arms were changing color due to what doctors eventually diagnosed as a bloodstream infection resulting from Capnocytophaga canimorsus. The bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouths of cats and dogs and can be spread through animal bites or licks, can in rare cases result in serious complications, including sepsis and rapid blood clotting.

Manteufel’s infection cleared fairly quickly, but it resulted in circulation so poor that he developed gangrene, or tissue death, that necessitated amputations, his doctor, Silvia Munoz-Price, told CNN.

It’s unclear why Manteufel, an otherwise healthy 48-year-old, developed the complications he did, Munoz-Price told CNN. But his wife told the Washington Post in August that Manteufel, a dog lover, had been around multiple canines — including his own 8-year-old pit bull — around the time of the infection, leading doctors to believe that a dog lick was responsible.

Just like Manteufel, however, Munoz-Price said the situation shouldn’t scare dog lovers out of having a pet.

“I have a dog,” she told CNN. “Many people have dogs, and most of us will never have problems with infections related to our pets.”

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