Brazil, IN – Wednesday morning, Clay County resident, Roger Brown, awoke to find two of his toes missing on one foot.
You would think someone would feel them dislodge or fall off, right? According to Brown, he roused from sleep around 4:30 am to find his pit bull licking his foot and, when he glanced down, noticed he was sans two toes – the big and pinky toes.
The man suspects the dog likely chewed them off but indicates he did not experience the excruciating pain one would assume comes with having your toes gnawed from your foot.
Brazil Police don’t consider the incident an animal attack, seeing as Brown suffers diabetes and had an infection in his foot.
Brown was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by medical helicopter for treatment.
Doctors believed gangrene had set in, whereupon the pit bull smelled it and began chewing in an effort to rid his owner of the infection.
Wound licking is an instinctive response animals have to an injury. Dogs, cats, rodents, and primates all lick wounds. The enzyme lysozyme is found in many tissues and in tears. Lysozyme is known to attack the cell walls of many gram-positive bacteria, aiding in defense against infection.
It has been long observed that the licking of wounds by dogs might be beneficial. Indeed, a dog’s saliva is bactericidal against the Escherichia coli and Streptococcus canis, but doctors do no advocate allowing your pet to lap at injuries as they can also cause other types of infection.
Diabetics are especially prone to infections, due to nerve damage and poor circulation, the complications of which can lead to the amputation of fingers and toes. These problems make the feet vulnerable to skin sores (ulcers) that can worsen quickly and are difficult to treat. Non-healing ulcers cause severe damage to surrounding tissue and bone and may require surgical removal of a toe, foot or part of a leg to keep infection from spreading.
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