A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Dog Germs

First off, I will apologize because with my new format, I don’t seem to be able to write as much.  This is a work in progress.  The topics don’t seem to come to me as naturally as watching the news and then nearly letting my temporal blood vessel explode.  I don’t watch nearly as much news now.  The natural things that I deal with in my job as a nurse and such doesn’t  seem to come to the top of the list as easily.

But, enough of that blather on why I’m not performing my duty as a blogger…  The other day, I was sitting on my front porch watching people go by, in my “old curmudgeon” fashion, and my next door neighbor went by walking her dog.  Like any Portland liberal, she thinks of her dog as “her child.”  Once she stopped, the big, poorly behaved, golden lab turned and pulled hard on the leash to come up on my porch.  I frowned and growled and she pulled the dog back.  She said her hello, and knelt down in the middle of my yard and began to give her dog some “loving” as she petted him all over. The dog was happy to get the attention and proceeded to give her a bunch of “kisses” all over her face.

“He’s really a sweet dog,”  she said.

I responded with,  “you know that dog’s mouth is filthy.”

She looked confused,  “you know, a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth” she said with a smirk…

Well, the conversation went on from there, and I didn’t seem to win over a new friend.  I think it ended with, “Well, I am a nurse after all… and your dog still eats turds”

I reflected on this conversation and tried to think where this crazy notion came from.  My sister is a veterinarian and she would tell you the same.  Dog owners swear that “a dog’s mouth is clean,” and I’ve even heard,  “their saliva is much cleaner, and if you have a cut or anything, if they lick it, it helps heal the cut faster.”  Are you kidding me?  Think about where dogs put their mouths.  They eat garbage, and lick their privates and of other dogs too.  All you have to do is look, or watch and you can realize that this is not at all true.

Maybe some believe that a dogs mouths are cleaner because most of the bacteria teaming in a dog’s mouth is species-specific.  That is, a regular staph or strep bacteria that grows naturally in a dogs mouth is not necessarily transmissible to a human.

Another reason is the owners notice that after a dog licks a wound, the wound seems to heal fast.  But that’s because the dog’s tongue gets rid of the dead tissue.  It’s much like when a surgeon debrides a wound to get down to the healthy tissue.  The licking action also stimulates circulation and brushes away dead cells.  A wash and scrub with an antiseptic and a gauze does the same.

Your dog’s mouth is still filthy.

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