Mans skin started rotting after his pet dog licked his hand

Grant Boone
November 27, 2019

He had contracted an infection usually caused by being bitten, which tends to only kill people with compromised immune systems, alcoholics, or those who have had their spleen surgically removed.

"He had been touched and licked, but not bitten or injured, by his dog, his only pet, in previous weeks", the report said. However, on the third day of feeling sick, he developed purplish spots on his face caused by broken blood vessels under his skin and pain in his lower extremities, so he headed to the doctor.

According to the case report, the unidentified 63-year-old man went to a hospital after suffering from flu-like symptoms for three days.

"The patient died after 16 days of treatment", the paper's authors said.

Doctors have been warned patients with similar symptoms should be asked about their contact with dogs and cats. He developed severe sepsis and a vicious rash, as well as blotching and bruising.

It wasn't until his fourth day in the hospital that a blood test revealed that the man had a type of bacteria found in the saliva of healthy dogs and cats. Although a CT skin did not suggest an infection, doctors administered antibiotics to cover various infections, but his condition kept on deteriorating.

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Brain disease, intestinal blockage caused by paralysis, blood clotting and kidney failure wrecked his body, doctors wrote.

Over the days following his diagnosis, in spite of an adjusted treatment regime, his condition worsened.

Greg Manteufel, also from Wisconsin, was rushed to hospital after going into septic shock, had both legs amputated up through his kneecaps, and underwent surgery to remove parts of both of his hands.

Doctors found the man's case particularly vexing as he didn't present the "immunodeficiency, splenectomy or alcohol abuse" associated with a fatal infection of Capnocytophaga canimorsus, the science journal reports. The weird story is the subject of a new paper in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, and it's an important warning for pet owners.

Plus, the infection is so rare it infects less around four in 1 million people annually, according to the CDC. It is transmitted to humans only in rare cases.

The rare case, reported in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, has prompted advice to pet owners with flu-like symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when their symptoms exceed those of a simple viral infection.

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