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Man Who Lost Limbs And Nose After Being Licked By Dog Still Loves His Pooch

Amy Pilkington 28 Sep 2019

Some people are happy to share kisses and licks with their pets, while others shrink back at the thought of coming into contact with an animal's tongue, but no one expects to lose their limbs to a puppy kiss.

But that's what happened to Greg Manteufel in the summer of 2018.

Manteufel was in great health when he first came down with something that felt like the flu.

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After an attempt to walk to the bathroom revealed that his legs weren't feeling right, his family rushed him to the hospital.

There, doctors discovered that he was infected with capnocytophaga, which is a common bacteria found in dog and cat saliva.

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The bacteria is usually harmless, unless a person has a weakened immune system — but Manteufel had been healthy.

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A recent party had featured a number of dogs, including his own pit bull Ellie, and he assumes that's where the bacteria got him.

The doctors tried to fight back the infection as sepsis took hold, but eventually were forced to amputate his feet, then his lower legs and then his forearms. In the end Manteufel also lost his nose.

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One year later, Manteufel is working hard to learn to navigate with his new prosthetics.

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Meanwhile, researchers have spent the time trying to figure out why his reaction was so severe. In fact, someone would be more likely to win the lottery five times in a single day than to have a dog's lick cause such an emergency.

After looking at the few cases known to be similar, they think that there may be a genetic link.

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And while the Manteufel family adjusts to their new normal, Ellie stays right there with them.

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"We don't treat her any differently," Dawn Manteufel said.

While they wait for Greg's genetic testing results to confirm whether or not he has the gene variant, they aren't worried about Ellie. She's licked him plenty of times since and there have been no issues.

"We weren’t going to get rid of her if it was her that caused it anyway," he said.

h/t: LA Times, Inside Edition, CBS58

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