The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-its-queent-lee”) is a rare ancient dog breed known for generating intense body heat that is believed to have magical healing powers.
The breed was revered by the Aztecs, who believed the dogs could protect people and heal their pain. To this day, many people credit them with soothing their arthritic aches and pains.
Known as Xolos or Mexican Hairless, the breed is sometimes used as a living hot water bottle, lying up against sore muscles and aching joints in many South American villages.
Most Xolos have very little if any fur. Although their body temperature is no higher than that of any other breed, all dogs’ body temperatures are higher than that of humans. As a result, this warmth is very soothing to people with painful chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Gift of the gods
Ancient Aztecs believed the dogs were gifts from the gods. In their legend, if an ill person fell asleep with one of these dogs for three nights in a row, their ailment would be transferred to the dog and they would be healed.
The warmth is certainly soothing. As Dr Paul Christo, director of the Pain Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told ABC News, that warm can certainly help to alleviate certain types of pain.
And so the legend of the Xolo’s healing powers goes on.