Ok, so raise your hands if you have heard that dogs have less germs in their mouths than people? Anyone? That is something I hear all of the time and I honestly have to shake my head. I mean, my dog uses her tongue as toilet paper. I don't want that thing anywhere near me. Seriously, it is almost as gross as someone handing me their cell phone, the one I heard them texting on in the bathroom stall.
However, some people persist in thinking that the germs in the mouths of animals won't transfer to people. And some people do nasty things like this guy who lets his dog drink out of his mouth.
The first time I ran across something like this was back in my college years. I was taking a history on a patient for the vet and the owner told me that she gave her dog steak. I advised that steak is often too high in fat and that it might cause a stomach ache. She told me not to worry...she pre-chewed each piece and sucked the fat off it it prior to giving it to Poochy. Ok, that is weird in and of itself. It smacks of someone that would cart around one of those reborn dolls and insist on changing its diaper. Ms Sally Sharesaliva then proceeded to take a starlight mint out of her mouth and let her dog lick it a few times and then she PUT IT BACK IN HER MOUTH. OMG! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. No, seriously, I'll be right back.
Ok, did you have a chance to cogitate on that while I was busy scrubbing out my mouth? Feeling ok?
By the next time I heard something like this, the miraculous website, Youtube had been invented (it was sometime after Al Gore invented the internet) and I could torture both my husband and myself with visual proof that common sense is not common. Hence the video above.
So, I am kind of a public health junkie and I love to talk about zoonotic diseases. Those are the diseases that can be shared between humans and other animals. In fact veterinarians are prone to reel off information about these diseases in most exam situations. This is because the clients' health is a concern just is their pets' well being.
One of my favorite public health websites, besides the CDC website, is the Worms and Germs blog on our blogroll. In my preparation for a lecture I am giving, I have been perusing current information and statistics on various diseases. Low and behold I ran across the article, Severe Pasteurella Infections from Palliative Pet Care by Dr. Scott Weese. It has some details of some case reports where humans got a severe form of a bacterial infection from kissing their pets on the mouth/head and/or sharing food. Icky dance!!
The moral of the story...don't let your pet drink out of your mouth. Or use your toothbrush. Or eat off of your fork. I am serious. And please, for the love all all things squirmy and wormy, do not let your puppy lick your child's face.