A dog-lover in Wisconsin ended up having to amputate all four limbs in a series of life-saving operations, all after a dog licked him.
The rare blood infection landed 48-year-old Greg Manteufel in the emergency room in late June, after he thought he'd contracted the flu, according to US reports.
Doctors found that the infection was caused by the bacteria Capnocytophaga, which is found in the saliva of dogs and cats.
The bacteria “hit him with a vengeance,” his wife, Dawn, told Fox6 Now.
The symptoms showed itself when blood spots began appearing all over the man's body.
Said Dawn: "(It) looked like somebody beat him up with a baseball bat." Within hours, his body started to go into septic shock.
She told Washington Post that her husband, a dog-lover, had been around eight dogs at the time when he fell ill. "He would touch any dog; he doesn't care," Dawn added.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for his family, which has since raised US$65,000 (S$89,000) of the US$100,000 goal.
In the description, it said Manteufel had his feet amputated days after being admitted to a hospital, with a second surgery to remove more damage on legs up to his kneecaps. Another surgery was also scheduled to remove a portion of his hands.
"His nose will need extensive repairs, which means he will need plastic surgery to rebuild a new healthy nose," it added. The extent of the damage to his limbs also means that the biking enthusiast will likely never get to ride on his Harley again.
Despite the severity of his illness, Dawn says Manteufel has remained positive, saying "it is what it is, so we have to move forward".
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although Capnocytophaga can be passed from dogs and cats to humans, most people who come into contact with these animals do not become sick.
However, people with weakened immune systems (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill, the agency said.