As a microbiologist, I’m very much against the beagle
being anywhere near my family licking my face.
I don’t allow it. You simply don’t know where that tongue has just been.
And so that’s just another of the many, many reasons that the above situation could (thankfully) never occur Chez 6000…
And before you ask further household/canine hygiene based questions:
1. Lots and lots of hand-washing.
2. No. Not in the bedrooms.
3. No. There’s no point in having the 5-second rule, because:
a) It’s based on crappy science, and
b) The beagle eats anything that gets dropped on the floor within 5 seconds anyway.
4. No. Of course I can’t reach them. It’s just a cartoon. Jesus.
All good? Great. Happy to have been of assistance.
Do you have a dog? Of course you do. Or perhaps you don’t.
Either way, there’s good evidence that allowing your dog to lick you (this is apparently the dog version of a kiss) could lead to all sorts of nasty stuff happening to you.
It may seem like a harmless display of affection, but allowing your pet to ‘kiss’ you could be dangerous – or even fatal.
So states the Guardian in their article, entitled:
Should I let my dog lick my face?
And the easy answer seems to be “no”, unless you want to play with Clostridium spp, E.coli and Campylobacter spp. Or Pasteurella multocida, a regular part of your dog’s normal mouth flora, which was:
… blamed for meningitis in 42 infants in France under the age of four between 2001 and 2011. Nearly half the babies were newborn, and most were infected as a result of dogs or cats licking them. Four died.
Or Haemophilus aphrophilus, responsible for causing brain abscesses and inflammation of the heart.
Or Dipylidium caninum – the double-pored dog tapeworm, the human excretion of which is always a favourite at parties. (Depending on which sort of parties you go to.)
And never forget the virtually unculturable (it’s really tough to grow it in a lab) Capnocytophaga canimorsus responsible for nearly doing for a 70-year-old woman in London earlier this year.
Statistically, you are extremely unlikely to get an horrific infection from allowing your dog (or cat – they’re hardly innocent in all this microbiological mayhem) lick your face. However, you are even less likely to get an horrific infection if you don’t allow your dog (or cat) to lick your face.
I know which route I’ll be taking. And I don’t even have a cat.
In great news for the shareholders of Grundheimer Schnauzerbeagle (Pty) Ltd and all the other pharmaceutical companies out there, I have infected my wife with my lurgy.
As the first signs of my recovery shone brightly like a light at the end of a two day long tunnel this afternoon, Mrs 6000 came home from a tough day at the office (and beyond) with a look that suggested germs, disease and – almost certainly – infection, had taken hold.
My insistence that I was merely testing the theories of Lister, Pasteur, Koch et al. (and al‘s theory was particularly good) don’t seem to have impressed her much. I may be in trouble here.
Still, it was just yesterday that she was telling me how good it was that I was ill this week, “getting it out of the way” before we head off on holiday next week.
Maybe if I tell her how fortunate she is to be feeling so rough right now, it’ll make her feel better.
Yeah. I think I’ll go do that now.