(CBS) A Michigan man says he has his dog to thank for saving his life by chewing off his infected big toe as he lay in a drunken stupor.
For months, Jerry Douthett had refused to see a doctor for the festering digit, in spite of his wife's pleas and her suspicion that he had out of control diabetes.
About two weeks ago the couple went to a bar, where Douthett told the Grand Rapids Press that he drank four or five beers.
"Jerry had had all these Margaritas, so I just let him sleep," his wife Rosee, a registered nurse, told the paper. "But then I heard these screams coming from the bedroom, and he was yelling, 'My toe's gone, my toe's gone!'"
Kiko, the family dog, had suddenly become a surgeon.
"It wasn't an aggressive attack. He pretty much just ate the infection, so he saved my life," Jerry Douthett said.
He was treated at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids where physicians said he had type 2 diabetes and was suffering from a dangerous toe infection. Surgeons amputated what was left of the digit.
"Maybe he thought it was not part of Jerry's body," Rosie told the Grand Rapids television station WOOD-TV, "that it was a dead animal laying on the bed. But he chewed off the infected part so he knew when to stop, which was great."
Jerry Douthett says Kiko, a white terrier with brown ears, is a hero. Now that he knows he is diabetic, he has given up drinking.