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Dogs That Eat Rotten Toes: Altruistic, or Just Plain Hungry?

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posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 01:16 PM
I found an interesting article that may shed some more light on man's best friend, and why they are still man's best friend. It's an enlightening article of how a couple of dogs saved their owners lives by eating some of their toes.

Originally written by Natalie Wolchover, Life's Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Date: 15 March 2011 Time: 11:36 AM ET (Live Science)TM

Here is a small portion of the article:

Last August, a Jack Russell terrier in Michigan made headlines by chewing off one of his owner's toes as the man lay passed out in a drunken stupor. At the hospital the next morning, doctors discovered that the man had diabetes, his toe was completely rotten, and little Kiko’s actions may have saved his owner's life.

A strange story, indeed. But not so strange that it didn’t happen again. Two weeks ago, on March 2, a diabetic Oregon man's dog also chewed off his numb and gangrenous toes – this time, three of them – while he slept. According to Lee Bartholomew, the local animal control deputy, the dog was "acting on its instinct to help remove diseased flesh."

But do dogs really have an instinct that tells them to amputate the nasty and harmful flesh of their masters? Or, on the contrary, are they just opportunists waiting for the day your body parts go numb so they can gobble them up as a midnight snack? More than 77 million dogs are kept as pets in the United States; it's a question worth asking.

To see the whole article go here:

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 01:31 PM
i wouldn't want morning kisses from those pups.

now whenever my one dog licks my feet i'll think of this...yuck

I think the answer lies in the middle, dogs do tend to eat nasty rotten things, i think they are programmed to do such a thing to help their pack mates....but they think they are just having a snack


posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 01:32 PM
There have been plenty of cases where dogs stuck by their owners or their other animal friends after they've died. It's because they have some kind of emotional attachment. They could have very well eaten parts of the body but chose not to.
Animals, especially dogs, have special senses. They just know when things aren't right. I'm sure these dogs instinctively knew that these toes were killing or harming their owners.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by RussianScientists

Not sure... I'm pretty sure the last thing a dog would want to do would be eat you after you die but who knows O_O

I do however recall an incident on the TV show "Pit Bulls and Paroles" (bear with me) where a pit bull puppy was locked in a house with his deceased owner. The puppy inevitably ate his owner... but this was probably because no other food sources were around.

That being said, in my history with dogs, they always seem to want to pay special attention to licking any cuts, or attempting to chew on the dead skin around people's cuticles... as odd as it is.

I would go with it's like an instinct. Since wolf pack members will lick and clean each others wounds, it is same to assume dogs will do the same. As for chewing off the whole toe... maybe that is attributed to the lack of pain response by the man, so the dog took that as he was doing what he was supposed to.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:51 PM
Look at it this way (short version):

If you passed out with a cheeseburger squeeshed between your toes, would you dog eat (whether he was hunrgy or not)?

The answer is: (You know the answer already.)

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:01 PM
Our canine friends have not been pulled through the course of civilization that stripped mankind of his more primal skills and senses. They retain powers beyond our own understanding IMHO. There are dogs being used to sniff out cancer and tumors on patients in hospitals. This is not taught to them like a bomb or drug sniffing dog.

I like dogs just fine, and if they want to eat me when I'm passed on well they're welcome to it.

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