Most probably, your veterinarian already advised to prevent your dogs from licking your faces. She might even explain the possible effects it may cause to you along with long list of bacteria and parasite residing on your pet’s saliva. On the contrary, ancient researches found out that dog licking is an excellent way to heal wounds. In fact, there are studies out there which claims that dog intestinal bacteria has an important role in preventing asthma among kids.
Therefore, how can you categorize pet saliva? Will it benefit or rather harm human lives? But don’t worry because your veterinarian can help you lessen your fear in acquiring disease from your pets.
How do pets can harm us?
Their mouth as well as intestine could be a haven for parasites and bacteria which can be transmitted later to us human beings. Moreover, it may also cause different medical conditions to us. Once these disease were already transmitted, it is now the time we call it as ‘zoonotic’.
One of the most bacteria, which can be found in the mouth of your dogs and cats, is Pastuerella. It can cause severe infections, lymph and skin node. On the other hand, Bartonellahenselae, another kind of bacteria being transferred to cats from their fleas also resides in the mouth your cats. This is the main cause of cat-scratch-fever. According to the theories, we can be infected by these one through having a contact with pet’s saliva.
Meanwhile, pets also serve as host for several single-celled parasites and parasitic worms. Once human are infected by these parasites just like when there are signs your dog has a tick, it may cause skin problems, intestinal diseases, brain disorder and blindness. Your pets can live through their life while these parasites are staying in their system. However, the eggs that are passed on the pet’s feces could bring diseases to human.
What are the possible practical precautions with pet saliva?
For very young kids out there, the risk of the parasitic or bacterial infection is very high.
However, people with good immune systems can’t be easily infected. Though there is a relatively low risk of having infection from your pet’s saliva, you can still do sensible precautions as pet owners such as:
- Deworming regularly
- Pet fecal examination annually along with the right anti-parasite treatment
- Pet feces disposal as well as compliance with the law
- Always cover children sandboxes if you are not using it
- Feed you pets with dry, canned or cooked foods
- Frequent hand washing right after you’ve been exposed to fecal contamination
Can pet saliva provide us benefits?
As mentioned above, long time ago, it was believed that dog’s lick can be traced back on how ancient Egypt insisted its healing power over time.
In France, there’s a medical translation, which says that a dog’s tongue is considered as doctor’s tongue. There are also recent researches that already determined substances in the saliva that helps in healing.
Likewise, there are studies in Netherlands which proved that chemical with your pet’s saliva is identified as histatins. It makes healing process quicker through migrating and spreading of new cells of skin.
Psychologically, this could be somehow true. But it is much better if you will still ask your nearest Lindfield vet clinic.