Dog saliva almost killed American man, who suffered from life-threatening blood infection

Dog licks

There is a common belief that if someone has an open wound, animal saliva, especially dog's saliva helps to heal that area. But, something extremely unusual happened to a man after a dog licked him that caused a life-threatening blood infection.

Even though the saliva of most healthy dogs usually not harmful to humans, the dog lover from America's Wisconsin, Greg Manteufel had to visit hospital's emergency room June 27, after he thought that he was having flu.

After the diagnosis, the doctors found that the 48-year-old man was suffering from an infection, which was caused by rare bacteria called Capnocytophaga. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these bacteria live in the mouths of dogs and cats but don't make those animals sick. Up to 74% of dogs have Capnocytophaga species detected in their mouths, compared with up to 57% of cats.

Fox6 Now reported that the wife of the man, Dawn said the bacteria attacked him with vengeance and as a symptom of the illness some blood spots started to appear all over his body. She also added that it looked like "somebody beat him up with a baseball bat," and within hours his health condition became more serious.

Dawn told Washington Post that since her husband is a dog lover, there were eight dogs around him when he fell sick.

A page called, GoFundMe has been set up for the family and as of now, it has raised $88,861 of the $250,000 goal. The description, it states that "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 Kneecaps. Surgery is scheduled to remove a portion of both hands as the damage from the sepsis is too extensive."

In addition, the post also stated that Greg's nose needs plastic surgery to rebuild a new healthy nose. The man is also a biking enthusiast but unfortunately, because of the serious damages to his limbs, he will not be able to ride his Harley Davidson.

But, as per his wife, the Greg said, "it is what it is," and it's time to move forward without thinking about what happened.

Earlier, a 51-year-old former soldier from Manchester, England, David Money has also faced the same medical condition in 2016 April after his pet dog licked him. That infection not only gave rise to red tennis-ball-sized blisters on his skin but also rendered his kidneys dysfunctional and sent him to coma for six weeks.

There are millions of people, who love pets, especially dogs all around the world. Most of the people have never faced such a life-threatening situation. CDC clearly said that such bacteria can only attack those people who have an extremely weak immune system, such as cancer patients, those who are under certain medication, those who drink alcohol excessively, who have had their spleens removed and people with HIV infection.

It is almost impossible to stop a dog to lick someone, who is the master of the pet or a dog lover just like Greg, as it is a gesture to express their love, loyalty and commitment towards the person. But, as soon as you can see some symptoms of an unknown disease, it will be better to visit the doctor immediately. To cure the Capnocytophaga infection, antibiotics are needed.

This article was first published on August 4, 2018