SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego police say a dog chewed off several toes of its 72-year-old owner, who suffers from a degenerative nerve disease.

Detective Gary Hassen says a caretaker alerted police Thursday morning.

When officers arrived at a home in the upscale Mission Hills neighborhood, they found the man had lost an unspecified number of toes and blood on the face of one of his two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports it’s instinctual for dogs to nibble on rotting flesh.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the man told animal control officers he wasn’t sure what had happened.

The man was taken to the hospital and the dogs were put into quarantine for 10 days and will be observed for signs of rabies.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Jake says:

    ya think he would have kicked the dog away after the first tug

    1. bugman says:

      read the first sentence! it is dogs nature to clean a wound,I know, their mouth is cleaner than yours!!!!

  2. bcb says:

    Sounds kind of strange. Kind of makes me wonder if anyone was feeding the dogs. Hopefully, there will be some kind of positive outcome for the man and the dogs.

  3. jim says:

    this happens everytime when owners neglect to give their pups rawhide.

  4. ploppy pants says:

    Did he call for a tow truck?

  5. ruff ruff says:

    And if a Pit Bull did this instead of a little cute King Charles they would be getting ready to euthanize

  6. Doreen says:

    Either the dogs hadn’t been fed in awhile and got desperate or else the dog sensed the owner’s toes were dead or dying with infection and chewed them off to get rid of the disease. I’ll bet when the doctor checks, there will have been gangrine or something wrong with his feet/toes.

  7. Mike says:

    Animals are animals. We like to see them as cuddly and sweet, but when the situation is right, they will eat you. I used to ask my dad if certain animals would bite. His reply was always the same. “Does it have teeth? Then it will bite … period!”

  8. Sydney says:

    I agree with Doreen. I think something else is going on…the toes must have been dead or diseased and the dog was trying to lick them. I bet they licked so hard that eventually they ate the toes. I’ll bet, in the end, the dogs will be exonerated. I have two cavaliers and my friends have cavaliers – I can not imagine them doing something like this.

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