If you have a dog, it can be hard to imagine that your dog would ever do anything to intentionally harm you. What’s not hard to imagine, however, is them doing something that harms you in the short-term but ultimately saves your life. This is what happened to 64-year-old David Lindsay from Cambridge, in the UK, who woke up to find that his precious bulldog pup had chewed his right big toe to the bone. This, however, ended up saving his leg and potentially his life.
Puppy Chews Man’s Toe To The Bone But Saves Him
One day earlier this summer, David was asleep on the couch when his wife came in and startled him by her yells. He woke up to see what she was screaming about: His foot was covered in blood. His seven month-old bulldog puppy had chewed his right big toe all the way down to the bone – and even fractured it. David, however, had slept right through it because unbeknownst to him, his foot had gone completely numb. He couldn’t feel anything.
“My puppy had near enough chewed my big toe off! It chewed down to the bone and cracked it,” David recalled. “But because of all this, I discovered that my foot is completely numb, I can’t feel anything.” (1)
His wife wrapped up his foot as best she could and took him to the hospital. The doctors quickly put him on intravenous antibiotics to stop any potential infections from the dog bite from spreading into his bone. While they were scanning his foot, however, to examine the fractured toe, they noticed something. David had two fully blocked arteries. This was related to his Diabetes. Had those blocked arteries been left unchecked, he very quickly could have required a full leg amputation. All thanks to his puppy, they caught them early. The doctors assessed David for stents to open the arteries back up and return the blood flow to his leg.
“You’ve got to laugh about it. He’s done me a favor by chewing my toe.” David said.
Oh, and about the dog? David said he will be keeping him.
Diabetic Neuropathy: Understanding the Loss of Feeling in the Feet
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that affects many individuals with diabetes, leading to the loss of sensation in the feet. Let’s shed some light on why people with Diabetes sometimes experience this unsettling symptom, the potential risks if left untreated, and the treatment options available.
Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes and occurs due to prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels. Over time, these elevated sugar levels can damage the nerves responsible for transmitting sensations from the feet to the brain. As a result, diabetic individuals may begin to develop a loss of feeling in their feet, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. (2)
The Consequences of Neglected Diabetic Neuropathy
If left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can have serious consequences for foot health and overall well-being. Without sensation, individuals may fail to notice injuries or foot deformities, such as blisters, cuts, or ulcers. These wounds can then become infected and progress into more severe complications, such as diabetic foot ulcers. In extreme cases, the lack of sensation can lead to difficulty walking, balance problems, and even amputation.
Medical Interventions for Diabetic Neuropathy
Fortunately, there are various medical interventions available to manage diabetic neuropathy and improve the symptoms. Healthcare professionals, often in collaboration with podiatrists and endocrinologists, can play a crucial role in developing an appropriate treatment plan. Some common interventions include:
- Blood Glucose Control: Maintaining tight control over blood sugar levels is essential to prevent further nerve damage. By working closely with a healthcare team, individuals can develop a personalized diabetes management plan that includes dietary changes, regular exercise, and medications as necessary.
- Pain Management: For individuals experiencing pain associated with neuropathy, certain medications like tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids may provide relief. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication and dosage.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help improve overall foot function, balance, strength, and coordination. Specialized exercises and techniques may also help reduce pain and discomfort.
- Wound Care: Regular foot examination and proper wound care are crucial in preventing infections and ulceration. Healthcare professionals and podiatrists can offer guidance on proper techniques, dressing choices, and foot care routines.
- Nerve Treatments: In some cases, nerve treatments such as nerve blocks or electrical nerve stimulation may be considered to alleviate symptoms. These interventions aim to interrupt or modulate the pain signals being sent by the damaged nerves.
The Bottom Line
Diabetic neuropathy and the subsequent loss of feeling in the feet can significantly impact the lives of individuals with diabetes. Understanding the causes, risks, and treatment options available is crucial for managing this condition effectively. By maintaining proper blood sugar control, seeking medical advice, and following a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals can mitigate the effects of diabetic neuropathy and preserve their foot health and overall well-being.
- “My puppy chewed my big toe to the bone while I slept – but it ended up saving my life.” Daily Mail. Ellen Coughlan. August 11, 2023.
- “Diabetic Neuropathy.” NIH