Pet Owners Warned After Man's Skin Started Rotting Because His Dog Licked Him
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While it's not uncommon for a person to contract bacteria through a dog bite, experts are looking into the case of a 63-year-old man who died from a simple lick.
People who own dogs or at least have been around dogs will have been licked before without issue.
But this European man, whose case has been revealed in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, came off worse for wear after an interaction with his dog.
According to the report, the man was licked by his dog, causing him to contract bacteria known as Capnocytophaga.
This bacteria is usually known to be transmitted via a bite rather than a lick and exists in the mouths of dogs and cats.
But physicians are concerned that the patient was healthy before the licking incident, whereas previous cases have tended to indicate some form of immunodeficiency, splenectomy or alcohol abuse, which makes the victim more susceptible to the bacteria.
After he contracted the bacteria, he started exhibiting flu-like symptoms before sepsis set in. This caused bruising on his skin before it started to rot and he also suffered blood clots. His condition culminated in a heart attack, which eventually killed him.
According to one Dutch study, Capnocytophaga is an extremely rare condition that affects around one in every 1.5 million people. Around a third of people who contract it will die, however the other two third of people can be left in a debilitating condition.
When Greg Manteufel contracted the rare blood infection, he had to have his legs and arms removed, as well as losing part of his face.
However, he has said that he is standing by his dog Ellie.
The painter from Wisconsin, Manteufel was rushed to the hospital on 26 June 2018, complaining of a fever and feeling weak. Medics soon found that he had contracted capnocytophaga.
Although it was likely that the infection came from Ellie, the family decided not to get Ellie tested to determine if it was down to her.
According to People, Manteufel said that he had been around many different dogs before he fell ill, so didn't know if it would be his that caused it.
He is now getting used to life using prosthetics, saying he can now use cutlery, open doorknobs, cut food and use a TV remote; he's awaiting surgery to correct his nose.