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I recently read a disturbing dog bite story. A man in Oregon was attacked by his dog while he slept. The dog bit off three of the man’s toes, and the man didn’t notice. The man had diabetes.

Many people with diabetes suffer from a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves. The condition usually affects the hands and feet, which may become numb enough so a person does not feel a serious injury like a dog bite.

Experts say that the dog was following its canine instincts to remove diseased flesh. Diabetes also effects circulation. This makes it hard for wounds to heal. A minor injury like a blister from new shoes can quickly become a serious foot ulcer. Dogs have a super strong sense of smell and can detect injured, decaying, or dying body parts. The open sores on diabetics are very attractive to dogs. Last December, an Illinois dog ate the toes of a 10-year-old girl with a foot sore.

Diabetes also affects the immune system. Diabetics are very susceptible to infections. Dogs have more than 100 types of disease-causing bacteria in their mouths. A diabetic may not be able to fight off these bacteria. When a dog bites someone with diabetes, that person needs to get immediate medical care—even if the bite is small.

The Oregon man called 911 after he was bitten and spent several days in the hospital. He found a new home for the dog.

Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes; another 79 million have pre-diabetes. Those with diabetes may need to especially careful around dogs. However, dogs are a part of our culture. They are everywhere. It is up to Iowa dog owners to make sure that their dogs are properly restrained and cannot cause harm.

If you were attacked by a dog in Iowa, the dog owner has the responsibility to pay for your medical expenses. This can include emergency treatment for diabetic shock caused by the injury. To learn more about your rights after an Iowa dog attack, schedule a free consultation with the Cedar Rapids dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham by calling 888-807-2752 toll-free.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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