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Reprinted from Best Friends (Jul/Aug 2005)


A Navy man who was scheduled to have his leg amputated was saved from the procedure after his dog licked it better.

After an accident when an anchor fell on and broke his toe, Mitch Bonham came down with Sudeks Atrophy, a condition that causes severe pain and paralysis, and made his leg turn black.

But while Bonham was waiting for the operation, his Jack Russell terrier began to lick the leg – sometimes for up to four hours a day. He just wouldn’t give up. And one day, Bonham felt his toe twitch. At his next doctor’s appointment, he was told that the dog had somehow stimulated the nerves and helped oxygen get to the injury. And soon  after, the leg had healed so completely that surgery was called off for good and Bonham was sent home with medical instructions to let his pup carry on with the lick therapy.