Last month, Greg Manteufel, from West Bend, started experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea. "Looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat", the patient's wife, Dawn Manteufel said, via WHNT.
Subsequent testing revealed that Manteufel had contracted an infection from a bacteria identified as capnocytophaga, which is found in dog saliva.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many Capnocytophaga species are considered normal bacteria commonly found in the mouths of humans, dogs, and cats.
It caused Manteufel's blood pressure to drop and the circulation in his limbs to decrease rapidly.
Dawn Manteufel said that they are focued on what her husband has left, rather than what was taken away.
Less than 1,000 cases of such infections from non-bite wounds have been documented in North America since doctors began tracking it in the mid-1970s.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Greg buy replacement prosthetic legs.
Not even a week later, his legs were amputated. To save his life, doctors had to cut his legs from the knee down, and then his hands. "He had somehow contracted the bacteria Capnocytophaga Canimorsus", reads the post on the family's GoFundMe page. The bacteria could have come from any of those dogs that licked him, Dawn said.
After discovering the Manteufels have a pet dog named Ellie, the medical staff told Dawn that her husband likely was infected after being licked. "It's just chance", said Munoz-Price.
'He is so thankful to be alive today and is taking one day at a time'.
"More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", Dr Munoz-Price explained.
The CDC calls these rare infections "opportunistic", striking people who have compromised immune systems such as individuals with HIV, cancer, people who have had their spleens removed and sometimes heavy drinkers.