“Beware of biting dog” didn’t apply in this case. It was that specific behavior that little dog Kiko turned it into a lifesaver.
It seems that the little hero’s animal instincts made it think of an infection present in its owner’s right leg. Kiko chewed most of the big toe while its caretaker was ‘euthanized’ on an alcoholic overdose.
Hospital’s even acknowledged that Kiko did the right thing. It even made the dog’s owner finally admit to his uncontrolled Diabetes (DM) type II.
The wife of dog owner let him sleep off the huge amount of Margaritas he drank. Then she heard him screaming off that his toe was gone!
It all started with a little protuberance under the toe. Thinking it a good idea, dog owner Douthett got a knife to cut away at the skin. Upon worsening, it got to the point that shoes were unwearable.
The stink coming from that right big toe would also attract other dogs. As they’d visit with other canine owners, their dogs would be all over it with their sniffing.
Some weeks before the ‘doggie chew’, the toe was looking bad enough for Douthett to get badgered by the spouse, insisting he’d go have it medically checked out.
From way back, there already was diabetes suspicion. Douthett chose to ignore it thus trying to avoid thinking of his brother’s death due to said disease. He probably reasoned that as long as he wasn’t diagnosed, he wouldn’t necessarily have it. That’s called a mental distortion (more at DrNedley.com).
Douthett did get around allowing himself to contact a health provider. To build up the courage, he thought it a good idea to have an alcoholic ‘fling’.
Starting with almost a half dozen beers at an outside locality, Douthett then transferred to a closer-to-home place for a couple extra huge margaritas. Their home being less than a mile from it, his spouse went to fetch him. As soon as he walked in, Douthett passed out in bed.
Next thing you know, Kiko (a Jack Russell terrier), being a year old, was next to him. A pool of blood was all that was left of said toe.
Even though they looked for it, the toe was nowhere to be seen. There was only one conclusion. Kiko’s eaten it.
Douthett’s spouse rushed him to the hospital she worked in. Being diagnosed with a bone infection, the remaining part of the toe was amputated. Looks like Kiko worked his way up to below the toe’s nail line (ouch!).
While recognizing the incident as exceptionally rare (read, not likely to happen to you as a dog owner), they figured that Douthett hadn’t felt pain due to diabetic neuropathy. This happens when unmetabolized glucose starts to accumulate on nerve’s extremities, thus damaging them.
It seems that Kiko acted as its own alert mechanism when the owner’s body wouldn’t/couldn’t act on its own accord. Douthett not having responsive pain receptors, is likely what allowed the terrier to ‘chew more than he could bite’ (I know, right?). A healthier person would’ve awaken much sooner.
Let this be a warning for those of us with familial history &/or predisposition to get DM II. From my past medical training, just in America there’s an average of 40% with diabetes, unbeknownst to them. For more on reversing diabetes, check out my colleague at DrYoungberg.com
Douthett became a small hospital celebrity during his 4-day hospital stay. It seems people refused to believe such a thing ever happened (of course, they hadn’t seen one, right?).
Dog’s amazing capacity for smelling have been further cemented as of late, where we even have canines able to detect Alzheimer’s on people. Service dogs have more commonly been trained for ‘mundane’ tasks of detecting higher than normal glucose levels (that’ll come handy for Kiko). Canines have also been known to detect cancer, & even the present ‘boogeyman’: covid-19.
Lest we think of Kiko as unique for what it did, he was just following in the footsteps of Roscoe the dachshund. This time done to a woman owner, Linda, but on the same body part: right big toe. I’m guessing both Douthett & Linda right-side dominant.
While Linda euthanized the dog (probably spooked her enough), Douthett eventually decided against it. He did pursued it at first, but others correctly asserted little Kiko likely saved his life. Even though this ‘hero dog’ had to go through a ‘house arrest’ quarantine to check for rabies, Kiko passed it with ‘flying colors’.
For all that’s happened to him, Douthett still had an enough sense of humor about him when being admitted to the hospital. While prepping for surgery, he told the nurse to tell the OR staff if they could save what they cut off as a treat to Kiko. The RN instead thought it was the sickest thing to ever hear.
But seriously, this has literally sobered up Douthett. No more alcohol for him. & his fix for not being spooked while sleeping? Douthett’s now wearing shoes to bed.