Pet owners are familiar with cats pouncing on their feet under the covers or a pooch who nibbles their toes in bed. But if you have diabetes, this lighthearted play is off-limits: your feet and hands should not be exposed when sleeping with a pet.
"Pets have a tendency to lick wounds, and that simple lick can turn into a bite, if there is no response from the owner," study author Lee C. Rogers, associate director of Valley Presbyterian Hospital's Amputation Prevention Center in Van Nuys, explained.
"There have also been reports of dogs' saliva infecting diabetic patients with the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus], which can be deadly," Rogers continued. "This case illustrates the perils of pet ownership in diabetic patients who have numbness in their hands or feet caused by neuropathy."