Greg Manteufel has loved dogs all his life, but a dog's kiss nearly killed him in June. It started with flu-like symptoms. Manteufel's wife Dawn said when she came home from working third shift June 26, her husband told her he'd been throwing up and his legs ached. She recommended water and Tylenol. He could barely walk and had diarrhea.
Greg Manteufel has endured more than seven surgeries since first being hospitalized. Since coming down with flu-like symptoms, Manteufel, a painter from West Bend, Wisconsin, has undergone seven surgeries — and there are more on the horizon. He thinks it was likely there that he was infected. Manteufel, who owns a female pit bull, says he never had a health issue stem from petting a dog before. The CDC reports that about three in every 10 people who become infected with capnocytophaga die, and death can occur in as little as 24 to 72 hours after symptoms start. Two weeks later, they removed his forearms, as well.
One of the best parts about dogs is how affectionate they can be. But while well-intentioned, those kisses—well, licks—may not always be good for your health. Unfortunately, that was the case for an Ohio woman who contracted a rare infection after her dog licked a slightly infected scratch and she ended up having to have both her legs and hands amputated.
You may think your dog is doing this out of love, but there are a number of reasons dogs lick their owners, other dogs and even themselves, according to the American Kennel Club. They like the way you taste. Dogs find something yummy about your sweaty, salty skin. That unique taste is also comforting because it comes from someone they love.