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Dog chews off owner’s toe, saves life

Dog chews off owner’s toe, saves life

From the Rockford Squire

Jerry Douthett said he was dead drunk Saturday, July 24, when he woke to find his dog Kiko had chewed off his right big toe.

Jerry Douthett knew something was wrong with his toe, but refused to see a doctor about it—until the night he had too much to drink celebrating his wife Rosee’s new citizenship.

Douthett had some beers in downtown Rockford and then a couple of margaritas at Cinco de Mayo before crashing in his bed late Saturday, July 24. He woke to find his foot in a pool of blood and his right big toe a bloody stump. The family dog had chewed off his toe.

“He saved my life,” Douthett said of Kiko, the Jack Russell terrier who gnawed away the infected portion of Douthett’s toe.

It turns out Douthett has severe diabetes and had a blood sugar of 560 when emergency room doctors saw him that night. Normal blood sugar levels are between 80 and 120.

Wife Rosee said she thought it was a shocking thing to have happen, but believes the dog was acting by instinct. “He is a hunting dog, when he finds a dead bird, he’ll pick it up,” she said.

Douthett said he believes Kiko knew the toe was a danger to his master’s life and had to go. Douthett said the toe was not just removed but eaten, because it wasn’t found in the house. “It’s gone right to the toe knuckle,” Douthett said. “That’s as far as the infection was and that’s where Kiko stopped.”

Rosee, who is nurse, said she wrapped the foot in a moist towel and took Douthett for help.

Douthett said he should have suspected diabetes, which runs in his family. The infection has been bothering him for about six months and he was determined not to go to a doctor, scared of what he’d find out. Rosee couldn’t convince him to go.

“She said, ‘Jerry, you have to go, you’ll lose your toe’ and I told her, ‘So then I lose it.’ I just knew it was going to be something weird,” said Douthett.

The forced trip due to canine amputation made Douthett get the medical care he needed and he is now on insulin. In another week doctors will be able to even up the ragged ends of Douthett’s toe, which sports tooth marks.

Douthett, a musician who has played at Open Mic night in downtown with Rockford’s City Manager Michael Young and has ties to big names in the music scene, will hold a concert in Kiko’s honor. “I’m going to call it Toe Jam and all the proceeds will go to the Humane Society,” Douthett stated.
Kiko remains at home and the Douthett family does not consider him a danger in any way.
Jerry said given what happened and his diabetes, he will quit drinking. “I was drunk and standing there looking down, saying, “My toe, my toe.”

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Ray Winnie
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