Man’s best friend – that is what Ellie the pit bull is to Greg Manteufel, even though the pooch may have inadvertently been the catalyst for an infection which nearly killed him reports People. Ellie didn’t do anything to purposefully harm her guardian, but her saliva may be the reason that he fell horribly ill a year ago. In fact, in an effort to save Manteufel’s life, his hands and both legs, and part of his nose, had to be amputated.
The extreme lengths that doctors were forced to go to were the result of a rare, but deadly infection that can be transmitted from the saliva of dogs and cats – though capnocytophaga is present in the mouth of most cats and dogs, few people get sick from it.
Manteufel’s sickness was a shock – he was otherwise completely healthy before he felt flu-like symptoms in June 2018. When Manteufel started to get confused, he was rushed to the hospital and a short time later, his organs began to fail. After the doctors determined that it was the capnocytophaga bacteria behind his condition, they did everything that they could to save his life…including the multiple limb amputations.
Ellie was never pinpointed as “the dog” behind her owner’s terrible sickness, but it doesn’t matter anyway because he loves her unconditionally and has stated that he would never get rid of her. And he doesn’t want people to avoid dogs out of fear, stating, “We don’t want people to be scared of their dogs because of what happened to me.”
Manteufel has been undergoing special genetic testing to determine if there is a reason that he fell so desperately ill. Testing so far has revealed a “genetic variant” which may be to blame. Researchers are hoping to learn more to help people like Manteufel avoid near-death experiences from common animal encounters.
(screenshot via CBS News)
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