Mircobiologically speaking: Should you make out with your dog?

“You sleep with your dog? That’s microbiologically sorta gross.”

miley-cyrus-kissing-dogThat was the first thing I said to Dr. Amy Hubbell, during a seminar in 2005, and I had no idea who she was.

I also told her organic food was not safer – and probably less safer – than conventional food, and that all that French food was overpriced shit.

Or something like that.

Whether or not such practices are microbiologically gross enters into the domain of how to analyze risk, and how to provide advice. Chapman, Schaffner and I always say variations on the same thing: we ain’t your pastors, you decide what’s right, but here’s some info and you decide.

Christopher Mele of The New York Times writes: beware of too much dog kissing.

Especially if your dog likes to eat poop (coprophagia).

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, an assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, said in an email that most animals’ mouths are host to “an enormous oral microbiome of bacteria, viruses and yeast.”

Dr. Nandi says a dog’s saliva has proteins that may help cleanse or heal its own wounds, but in a paragraph titled “Why Not to Make Out With Your Pet,” he noted, “There are some organisms unique to dogs that we were simply not meant to tolerate or combat.”

Some bacteria in dogs’ mouths are zoonotic, meaning the animals can pass them to humans and cause disease.

Some common zoonotic bacteria include clostridium, E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter, which can cause severe gastrointestinal disease in humans, said Dr. Leni K. Kaplan, a lecturer of community practice service at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

mika1-004So I shouldn’t let my dog lick me at all?

Not entirely.

“When dog saliva touches intact human skin, especially in a healthy person, it is extremely unlikely to cause any problems, as there will be very little absorption through the skin,” Dr. Kaplan wrote in an email.

However, a dog’s saliva and pathogens can be absorbed more easily through the mucous membranes of a person’s nose, mouth and eyes. Though illnesses transmitted this way are rare, Dr. Kaplan said it was best to avoid having your dog lick those parts of your face.

John Oxford, a professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London and an expert in microbiology, said he would never let a dog lick his face, The Hippocratic Post reported.

“It is not just what is carried in saliva,” he said. “Dogs spend half of their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts.”

Other infections, such as hookworms and roundworms, can be transmitted in a practice called coprophagia, in which animals ingest one another’s stool or by licking each others’ anuses, Dr. Nandi said in an email.

Dr. Joe Kinnarney, the immediate past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said in an interview that one study calculated that a puppy could have as many as 20 million to 30 million roundworm eggs in its intestinal tract in one week. He said a client’s child at his practice in Greensboro, N.C., nearly lost an eye from a roundworm infection.

It is conceivable that a dog with fecal material in its mouth could transmit an intestinal parasite to a human through licking, but that is rare, Dr. Sarah Proctor, a clinical assistant professor and the director of the veterinary technology program at the University of New Hampshire, said in an email.

More commonly, a parasite can be contracted by ingesting contaminated soil — via a home garden, for example — where pets have left their droppings.

President Obama even touched on the subject in an interview with Wired magazine that was published in August:

“I still don’t let Sunny and Bo lick me, because when I walk them on the side lawn, some of the things I see them picking up and chewing on, I don’t want that, man,” Mr. Obama said, laughing.

Dr. Proctor says people should be aware that not all dogs want to be hugged or kissed.

“Most people do not pick up on a dog’s subtle body language that shows fear, stress or aggression,” she wrote. “Putting your face into a dog’s face and kissing it could lead to a bite on the face if you are not careful.”

Cats do not eat feces, and humans are therefore unlikely to become infected by parasites from them, according to the website petMD.

Cats’ mouths do harbor Pasteurella, which can cause infections of the skin and lymph node, and Bartonella henselae, a bacterium that can cause a severe skin and lymph node infection known as cat scratch fever, the website reported.

Most of those infections come from bites or scratches.

What precautions should I take?

Experts recommend:

  • Make sure your pet is current on all vaccines.
  • New pets should undergo deworming.
  • Keep your pets away from the feces of other animals.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Arden Moore, who hosts “Oh Behave,” a podcast on Pet Life Radio, said in an email that she welcomed the occasional kiss from her five dogs and one cat, and kisses the tops of their heads in return.

“Pets, just like people, crave attention and affection,” she said. “As long as I remain healthy and my pets stay healthy, I will take this ‘risk’ and accept their kisses.”

LSU student arrested after barfing on others during Ole Miss game

LSU student Renuka Koritala was arrested during LSU’s 38-21 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night after Baton Rouge Police Department officers attempted to escort her from the stadium because she allegedly vomited on other students.

renuka-koritalaKoritala ran from the officers when they initially tried to approach her and then kicked the officer attempting to escort her out of the stadium. The affidavit said that Koritala, 20, had to be carried out of the stands using a “fireman’s carry so that she would not harm herself.”

Police officers also found a clear medicine bottle containing marijuana and a marijuana smoking pipe on Koritala. The LSU student was charged with battery of a police officer, possession of marijuana, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Barfing? Who ya gonna call: IowaSic

The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals have set up a hotline for people who want to report foodborne illnesses.

iowa-sic-lineThe Iowa Public Health medical director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, says that once a call is made to the IowaSic hotline at 844-469-2742, trained specialists will begin an investigation. The specialists will ask a caller about the illness, symptoms, onset and duration, and also complete a history of all foods the caller has consumed in the past several days.

Crypto: My big barfing Greek wedding

Amanda Devlin of The Sun reports a  bride and groom who thought they were suffering from wedding day jitters had actually been struck down by a gastric illness – as well as half of their guests.

big-fat-greek-weddingGemma Tepper, 32, her partner, Lee, 36, say their big day was ruined by the outbreak of Cryptosporidium – a respiratory and gastic illness – at their hotel on the Greek island of Zante.

Now 60 holidaymakers have hired international personal injury lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, to investigate the outbreak.

Gemma, a transport administration clerk, who was staying at the Marelen Hotel with her husband-to-be and their daughter Sylvie said: “When we both started suffering illness on our wedding day we just put it down to being nervous, but we quickly realised it was a lot more than that when the symptoms continued for the next few days.”

The symptoms persisted and both Gemma and Lee, from Pontefract, West Yorks., were forced to time off work when they returned home.

Tests confirmed Gemma was suffering from Cryptosporidium.

Nasty women? Cat poop used to protect Trump sign from theft

Kathy Bressler of Monroe, MI, is passionate about two things: Donald Trump and her 10 cats.

braunwynn-hockeyBressler has never put up political signs before but because of her support for Trump, she has several signs and buttons, and volunteers for the local Republican party a couple of days a week.

So, when someone stole Trump signs from her yard, so she decided to make a stink about it – literally. Bressler combined her love of cats and country and “poopy trapped” her Trump signs.

court-hockey“My First Amendment rights are being violated,” Bressler said. “SO, I thought, gee, it’s not a pleasant idea if someone would happen to happen to step into the used cat litter that I’ve been sprinkling around my Trump signs. So, I thought that might be a good deterrent.”

Barf lock: Anti bike theft lock emits vomit-inducing gas

I never lock my bike.

Guelph, Manhattan (the Kansas one), Brisbane.

skunklock-2-440x292-cThe only time my bike ever got stolen – or picked up – was after I left it for four days outside the plant agriculture building at the University of Guelph.

Those four days?

That’s another story.

The inventors of SkunkLock say they were so sick of having their cycles stolen, they decided to give robbers a taste of their own medicine.

Daniel Idzkowski from San Diego realized there’s pretty much no solution to the problem of bike theft because you can cut through nearly every type of lock in a matter of seconds. So he decided to fill a U-Lock with a cannister of smelly gas instead.

“It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing… A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”

The lock hasn’t been tested out on thieves yet but Idzkowski and Skunklock co-founder Yves Perrenoud say their own experiments have shown the gas “makes 99% of people puke.”

Lionel Messi vomits while sitting on the Barcelona bench- proves to the world he is human after all

I don’t know who Lionel Messi is but he seems to be some soccer dude, and apparently he is mortal and can barf.

colbert-soccerMessi (who was only a sub) sitting on the bench during the first half of Barcelona’s match against Deportivo La Coruna. He’s sitting there, watching the game… when he starts to vomit.

Some of you might not think much of it. You might think the fact Messi came on later in the game and scored in a 4-0 win suggests this was just a strange, inconsequential moment.

However, this clip takes on a much bigger significance once you look at the considerable history of Messi puking.

Why does this keep happening? There are several theories, but the one offered by former Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella might be the most revealing. “Nerves. I reckon that in these moments there is anxiety more than anything.”

Not something Messi probably wanted the world to hear, but if that’s true, it does prove a couple of things.

  1. The stress of being a football genius is far greater than many of us realize.
  2. Barcelona’s main man does have at least one human flaw which proves he is not a hi-tech footballing cyborg from the future.

Stay classy Guelph: Paramedics met with angry vomit-tossing woman, fan runs on ice

A crew of paramedics just managed to dodge being soaked with a bucket of vomit thrown by an angry woman, cops in Guelph, Ont., say. Guelph Police said officers were called to a residence on the city’s York Road to assist an EMS crew with a problematic patient.

guelphAn irate woman became infuriated with the crew and threw a bucket of vomit at them.

Cops say she missed and instead soaked expensive medical equipment with the vomit causing damage.

Patrica Pegalo, 22, of Guelph was arrested at the scene and charged with mischief over $5,000.

Meanwhile, an overexcited Guelph Storm Junior A hockey fan decided to show his enthusiasm by scaling the glass during a game with the home town Mississauga Ice Dogs.

No streaking was involved.

Bridesmaid chokes to death on her own vomit after excessive drinking session at Chinese wedding

I thought it was only drummers that did that – Keith Moon, John Bonham.

bridesmaid_chokes_to_death_on_her_own_vomit_after_excessive_drinking_session_at_chinese_wedding_1_2And Bon Scott.

A night of merriment ended in tragedy when a bridesmaid choked to death on her own vomit from drinking too much.

In a series of video clips, the 28-year-old woman is seen knocking back a glass of liquor with her male friends at a wedding banquet in Wenchang city, Hainan province.

She is then seen passed out and supported by her drinking companions.

After that, she is filmed being rolled away on a hotel baggage trolley.

The final video clip shows her in the hospital with doctors fighting to save her life by pumping on her chest but to no avail.

According to Shanghaiist, a lawyer said that revelers who encouraged her to drink bear some responsibility for her death.

Excessive drinking is common in China where the ability to out-drink peers and colleagues is seen as a marketable skill.


South Carolina sports fan splattered with vomit live on TV as half-time show gets gross

Baseball team the Charleston Riverdogs held a ribbon dancing contest between innings during a game on Thursday.

bull-durham-mv02It went well and one of the dancers was beaming as she strolled off the field, but then out of nowhere she vomited everywhere.

And just in case the fans watching at home missed it, the Riverdogs uploaded the gross-out footage to social media.

What made her ill remains unclear, but viewers have noted that the team runs a “Thirsty Thursdays” promotion.

Others have suggested that it was simply ball-park food combined with the sudden physicality of dancing.

Regardless, her unfortunate outburst is being used as a Twitter meme to express sudden disgust.

Some fans took issue with the minor-league team for sharing the video on social media.

However the fan herself, named Bonnie, joked on Twitter that she gave “all she’s got” for her team.