A Wisconsin man has reportedly had both legs and hands amputated after he contracted a rare infection that his family says likely came from being licked by a dog.
According to Fox 6 Now, 48-year-old Greg Manteufel ended up in the emergency room with what he thought was the flu.
48-year-old Manteufel began to go into septic shock as the mysterious symptoms continued to worsen.
His wife, Dawn Manteufel spoke with Fox 6 about his symptoms, stating that the disease hit him with vengeance, bruising him all over. "It looked like someone beat him up with a baseball bat", she said.
She told of how it had caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop dramatically, causing plunging blood circulation to his legs.
"He kept just saying, 'Take what you need, but keep me alive.' And they did it - surprisingly enough, they did do it", Dawn Manteufel said.
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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Manteufel's prosthetic limbs and plastic surgery on his nose.
Dr Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, told WITI that Mr Manteufel's case is an extremely rare occurrence and that pet owners need not panic.
A bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus attacked Greg Manteufel quickly and aggressively. "Within days of being admitted to the hospital while still fighting for his life, Greg first lost both feet, after a second surgery to remove more damage on legs, they amputated thru both Knee caps".
"It took a week and they were taking his legs", Dawn Manteufel said.
Capnocytophaga is a normal bacteria present in the mouths of 60 per cent of dogs and 17 per cent of cats.
Jason Marchand, the page's creator, said: "Greg has held his head high and is taking all the news like a beast".
The bacteria's transmission can occur through bites, licks or even close proximity to the animals.
While most people will not exhibit any symptoms if they become infected, it has been shown to cause severe illness n those who have compromised immune systems, according to a 2003 study from France.