Home Health News Greg Manteufel Stands By Pet Even After Losing Limbs To Capnocytophaga After Dog Licks

Greg Manteufel Stands By Pet Even After Losing Limbs To Capnocytophaga After Dog Licks

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WEST BEND, Wis. — It’s onerous to treat Ellie as a menace.

When Greg Manteufel is pissed off or feeling down, she sits by him. At night time, she sleeps beneath his covers. At dinner, she’s there subsequent to him, understanding he’ll toss something her means. She belies the stereotype of the vicious pit bull.

“We love her like she’s our daughter,” he mentioned of the canine.

And but, Ellie could be the purpose Manteufel, 49, practically died.

Gravely unwell, he misplaced elements of his legs and arms, in addition to the pores and skin of his nostril and a part of his higher lip. The trigger was capnocytophaga (cap-noh-seye-TOE’-fah-gah), a germ from Ellie’s mouth or from one other canine he encountered.


In this Aug. 16, 2019 photograph, Greg Manteufel pets his canine Ellie at his residence in West Bend, Wis.

Capnocytophaga is often discovered within the saliva of cats and canine and nearly by no means results in individuals getting sick, except the person has a compromised immune system. But Manteufel was completely healthy. In truth, he doesn’t suppose he’d ever used his health insurance coverage earlier than he fell unwell.

The case is extraordinarily uncommon and medical doctors at his hospital, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, had no rationalization for why he acquired so sick. But during the last 10 years there have been no less than 5 different healthy individuals who have had extreme reactions to the germ. A group of researchers related with Harvard Medical School has developed a idea on why — a gene change in all of the victims.

And their discovering means medical doctors can’t rule out the capnocytophaga micro organism may strike Manteufel and different victims once more.

Assumed it was an odd sickness

Greg Manteufel thought he was getting the flu in June of 2018. He had a fever, vomiting and diarrhea. But when he started getting confused, his household took him to the hospital.

Doctors did blood cultures and located capnocytophaga, which induced sepsis, a extreme blood an infection that led to his blood stress dropping and plenty of of his organs shutting down.

“Do what you have to, to keep me alive,” he advised the medical doctors.


In this Aug. 16, 2019 photograph, Greg Manteufel takes his canine Ellie from his spouse Dawn Manteufel at their residence in West Bend, Wis.

He had a lot to reside for — foremost, his spouse of 16 years, Dawn, and 26-year-old son, Mike. He was simply beginning to get actually good at his day job, portray homes. He cherished his Harley Davidson Electra Glide. He was in the midst of fixing up his ’66 El Camino. And in fact there was Ellie, the pup.

And so he persevered, by means of greater than 20 surgical procedures, together with amputations of his left and proper arms just under the elbow, and legs by means of the center of the knee.

His spouse and son stayed optimistic, as a result of he was.

“Greg said he didn’t come this far to lay down and let this beat him,” Dawn Manteufel mentioned.

He was out of the in-patient rehab unit in about two weeks, studying to maneuver from his wheelchair to the mattress, bathroom and automobile. The traditional keep is three to 4 weeks, mentioned Dr. David Del Toro, medical director for the inpatient rehab unit at Froedtert.

Manteufel made comparable fast advances utilizing his arm prosthetics and leg prosthetics.

“He does not seem like any other patient I’ve met before,” Del Toro mentioned. “He’s just, you know, full speed ahead.”


In this Aug. 19, 2019 photograph, Greg Manteufel tries out a brand new prosthetic arm throughout occupational remedy at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, as he talks to Dr. David Del Toro.

Meanwhile, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, related to Harvard Medical School, in addition to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center had been investigating circumstances like his.

The group has executed genetic testing on 5 in any other case healthy individuals who suffered capnocytophaga infections to see if they might discover something in widespread. They found all had a gene related to the immune system that was working in another way — a genetic variant.

“It was a really thrilling moment,” mentioned Elizabeth Fieg, a genetic counsellor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The stakes are so high with these cases and the patients have gone through so much.”

They imagine it makes these individuals extra vulnerable to creating extreme medical issues from capnocytophaga. But they’re additionally attempting to find out if there are different danger elements.


Greg Manteufel sits surrounded by the medical workers at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin on Oct. 2, 2018.

Of the 5 within the research, three survived with amputations and two didn’t. Fieg hopes their analysis can decide why some didn’t survive.

She additionally hopes if their idea is confirmed, it’s going to assist diagnose circumstances quicker, and maybe save lives and limbs.

That’s why Greg Manteufel jumped on the probability to participate when he was approached in August.

Researchers want to collect extra proof, however hope to publish their research within the subsequent 12 months to 18 months.

Full pace forward with Ellie by his aspect

Manteufel’s life now contains frequent occupational remedy appointments to excellent his use of arm prosthetics — the type with steel movable hooks on the finish. He’s utilizing a fork repeatedly and he’s now engaged on selecting up the TV distant, opening doorknobs, reducing greens and doing the dishes.

He’s utilizing shortened leg prosthetics, known as stubbies, to get his body conditioned to ultimately use to full-sized ones. Those are anticipated to reach any day.

Plastic surgeons plan one other surgical procedure to excellent his nostril. They’ve already moved pores and skin from his brow there. It seems outsized now, however it’s going to ultimately slot in with the remainder of his face.

He plans to get his automobile revamped so he can drive with prosthetics. He desires to get a particular pole so he can go fishing once more. He is even contemplating going again to work portray.

He’s additionally change into much less quiet and much more outgoing. “Now everybody I see wants to hear something or talk to me. I tell them a 15-minute story about what happened. They probably want me to leave, you know,” he mentioned, chuckling.


In this Aug. 19, 2019 photograph, Greg Manteufel tries out a brand new prosthetic arm throughout occupational remedy at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, as his spouse Dawn Manteufel reads paperwork within the background. 

Ellie’s typically by his aspect.

“She loves kids. She loves puppies. Other dogs,” Manteufel mentioned.

As innocent as she appears, she might have capnocytophaga germ.

The outcomes of Manteufel’s genetic checks are anticipated in three to 4 months. Fieg mentioned individuals with the gene variant are at elevated danger for recurrent capnocytophaga or different infections sooner or later.

While Manteufel doesn’t just like the sound of that, he mentioned Ellie’s by accident scratched him since he’s been residence and even licked his mouth. He’s been high-quality.

And even when he does have the gene variant, he mentioned, it adjustments nothing.

“We didn’t even bother testing her,” mentioned Manteufel. “We weren’t going to get rid of her if it was her that caused it anyway.”

“We just love her to death.”

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