Wisconsin house painter Greg Manteufel has been around dogs his whole life and loved them. So when he was rushed to hospital with a dangerous blood infection that doctors had told him was caused by a dog, you can imagine his shock and confusion.
The 48-year-old ended up losing his hands, feet and parts of his arms due to a rare blood infection transmitted by dog saliva. The illness almost took his nose and upper lip and he will need reconstructive surgery.
Despite being told his illness was caused by dog saliva, after being discharged from hospital, he went home to hug his four-legged friend. His positive attitude throughout his terrible ordeal has been praised by doctors.
“Through all of this, the real star of the show is Greg. He’s had the most positive attitude of any patient I have ever met and he’s approached this with a fight that I don’t think I’ve seen in any patient,” Dr Patrick Hettinger, a plastic surgeon, said during a news conference, according to 9News.com
Manteufel started feeling sick in June with a fever and pain and his legs. Doctors have since told him they don’t know if the illness was caused by his own pet or another dog.
”I still like dogs”
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Manteufel told reporters. “I’ve been around dogs my whole life. It’s hard to take, you know?”
“I still like dogs,” he said.
His wife, Dawn Manteufel, said one of the first things their dog did when her husband returned home was snuggle up with him to watch the Green Bay Packers American Football team.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 74 percent of dogs and up to 57 percent of cats carry the bacteria.
However CDC doesn’t track the number of infections from capnocytophaga because they’re so rare.
The Centers for Disease Control warns that this bacteria can infect a person even if they haven’t been bitten. Contact with a dog’s saliva, which is likely what happened to Greg Manteufel, is enough to cause an infection. Officials say three in ten people who get infected die from it.
Symptoms typically occur within 3 to 5 days. Anyone bitten by a dog is urged to seek medical attention immediately even if they feel fine. Capnocytophaga can cause the following symptoms:
• Blisters around the bite wound within hours of the bite
• Redness, swelling, draining pus, or pain at the bite wound
• Diarrhea and/or stomach pain
• Headache and/or confusion
• Muscle or joint pain
Greg will have prosthetics fitted as the skin and wounds begin to heal and is determined to walk and drive again.
Dr. David Del Toro, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the hospital which cared fro Greg, said he had no doubt Greg would achieve this.
“No one has the determination of Greg. I believe he’s going to achieve all his goals, it’s just going to take a long journey,” he added.
Find out more about this brave man’s incredible but heartbreaking story in the clip below.
Greg’s bravery and determination is a true inspiration. Please share this story to spread awareness about this rare but terrible infection.