He further advises that anyone who is licked by a dog wash the area immediately.
To me, a guy who has spent the last eight months with my dog nearly constantly at my side during our travels across America — including in whatever bed we happen to be sleeping in at night — that seems a massive over-reaction.
Bruno Chomel, a professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, says that, while such cases aren’t common, people have contracted infections from sleeping with, kissing and being licked by their pets. Chomel and fellow researcher Ben Sun, of the California Department of Public Health, express their views in the latest issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
I don’t subscribe to that publication, because my theory is the surest way to get a disease is not from sleeping with your dog, but from reading about that disease.
Though I sleep with my dog nightly, I’m not so much concerned about Zoonoses, or diseases transmitted to humans by animals, as I am about Merckitis, a chronic case of which I’ve suffered from since childhood.
It stemmed from a big blue book called The Merck Manual, on my mother’s bookshelf, which allowed you to, based on your symptoms, diagnose your medical issue, read about the treatment and determine, in my case, if I was going to live to see 13.
I must have diagnosed myself with a dozen different diseases, many of them fatal, in the course of matching up my symptoms — usually those of a common cold — with the worst possible maladies.
I remember one night that — congested, unable to breathe through my nose and worried that my throat breathing pipe (non-medical term) might close up – I gathered the necessary supplies to perform an emergency tracheotomy (bic pen, with the ink part removed, pocket knife, duck tape) and kept them under my bed, alongside the book.
The Internet has made it much easier to wrongly self diagnose — just a few clicks and you can jump to the conclusion that you have the most dreaded disease imaginable. The key word there being imaginable. In a way, those medical self-help websites, rather than lessen the need for doctors, only create more of one as we, fueled by our fears, rush to confirm our faulty self diagnoses.
Pulled muscle? I was sure it was a heart attack.
Of course, such concerns are not always entirely baseless, and many of them should be checked out by professionals. But often, they’re only in our heads — having been placed there by WebMD, yourdiagnosis.com, familydoctor.org and the like. Often they are really far-fetched, instilling a fear out of all proportion with reality, which is the case with Chomel’s study, or at least his remarks:
“I think pets can be very nice in the home environment, but certainly, they don’t belong on the bed,” Chomel told LiveScience.
Chomel says humans can contract bubonic plague from flea-infested pets, bacterial infections resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics, and various parasitic worms.
Since 1974, Chomel says, multiple cases of plague have been associated with people in the southwestern U.S. who allowed flea-infested cats to sleep with them. And in a 2008 outbreak, a study found that people infected with bubonic plague were “more likely to have shared a bed with a dog than uninfected counterparts.” (Despite that, I still don’t recommend sharing a bed with uninfected counterparts.)
The authors cite surveys conducted in the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands that show up to 45 percent of dogs sleep in their owners’ bed.
Several reports of bacterial infections have been attributed to sharing a bed with pets, and in “multiple” cases, they report, patients acquired various infections after allowing their dogs or cats to lick wounds or damaged skin.
That’s the total opposite of my philosophy. Whenever I get a boo-boo, the first thing I do is let Ace lick it. Then it feels better. If thousands of microscopic parasites enter my bloodstream by doing so, so be it … join the party, fellas.
Don’t tell me not to sleep with my dog, especially when it’s this cold. That’s like saying, because there may be some impurities in the air, I should stop breathing. I’m going to continue to engage in both risky behaviors.
And if worse comes to worst I can always, after consulting my Merck Manual, perform an emergency tracheotomy.
OUR FAVORITE READER COMMENT: “Pity poor Chomel. He has obviously not enjoyed the delight of a canine companion…I’ve spent the past 50 years sleeping with dogs – most of the canine persuasion – and if anything it must have strengthened my immune system … The plague? Only a plague of comfort and love. Poor Chomel.”
(For all the comments on this post, click the comment button below, and scroll to the bottom to leave one of your own.)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bruno chomel, bubonic, davis, diagnosis, disease, dog, dogs, emergency, fleas, germs, infection, infectious, kisses, licks, medical, parasites, pets, plague, research, science, self diagnosis, self help, sick, sleeping with dogs, tracheotomy, transmit, transmitted, university of california, veterinary, zoonoses, zoonosis
Leave it to us to be in Arizona when the big news is in North Carolina.
Fearing for the safety of his “dawgs,” a rural North Carolina man called 911 to report he’d had a confrontation with Bigfoot; and the one-sided, slightly slurred conversation with the dispatcher that ensued is worthy of the 911 call Hall of Fame.
Authorities in Cleveland County released a recording of the call, made by Tim Peeler, who claimed to have sighted a 9-to-10 foot tall Bigfoot around his home near Casar.
The area, known as Carpenter’s Knob, is the site of repeated sightings of a similar creature in the 1970s, who locals eventually took to calling “Knobby.”
In the call, Peeler describes a “beast thing” whose presence got his dogs a barkin’.
Operator: What did it look like?
Peeler: It looked like a giant ape with a man’s face. But I was afraid to kill it. And it made a whistling sound. But I just wanted ya’ll to know, I have not shot one or killed one.
Operator: Okay, was there more than one or just the one?
Peeler: Just the one.
Peeler: He was about nine, ten foot tall. With real long arms. And…I’ve had experiences with ‘em before in the deer stand. but this one, somehow, I go out there, it gets gone, I come back in the house it gets there again. And my dog’s is just raising… heck.
At one point he asks, ”Would I get in any trouble if I shot and killed this beast? This animal or whatever it is? Would I get in any trouble?”
Throughout the call, Peeler seems most concerned about his dogs.
“I got bear dawg, hog dawgs, this thing for some reason tonight is comin’ down messin with my dawgs, tryin’ to get towards my back porch.”
Cleveland County is located west of Charlotte, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area that’s no stranger to moonshine. We’re not saying Tim’s brewing his own, but … still. Maybe we’ll try and stop for a visit on our way back east.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 9-1-1, 911, animals, audio, bigfoot, call, cleveland county, dawgs, dogs, emergency, knobby, moonshine, news, north carolina, pets, phone, police, recording, sighting, strange, telephone, transcript, video, weird
Lovebug needs some love.
The 13-week old pup was struck by a car on a Missouri Interstate highway.
She suffered in the tall grass for a day, before working up the energy to lift her head. A firefighter and his wife, passing by, saw her and stopped, wrapping her in his firefighter’s jacket and taking her to a local veterinarian.
There she was found to have two fractured legs and a broken pelvis — injuries that will require the installation of pins and plates, and cost about $2,000.
“She has charmed everyone with her zest for life and determined attitude. We are a non-profit organization and any help you can give would be greatly appreciated,” writes Cheri Zaiger, of American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue. “I just know if other people could see her face and hear her story some donations would come in to help her out of this devastating situation,” Zaiger added. The website has a box that can be clicked on to make donations.
American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue helps all types of coonhounds – Black and Tans, Redbones, Blue Ticks, Red Ticks, Tennessee Tree Walkers. It rescues most of them from kill shelters, keeps them in foster care and seeks to find permanent homes for them.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, adopt, american black and tan coonhound rescue, animals, black and tan, blue ticks, broken, car, coon dogs, coondogs, coonhounds, dogs, emergency, highway, hit, interstate, legs, lovebug, medical, ohmidog!, pelvis, pets, red ticks, redbones, rescue, shelter, struck, surgery, tennessee tree walkers, veterinary
On Tuesday evening, a man walked into his neighbor’s yard and attacked the dog in the face and head with the machete, inflicting injuries that went all the way down to the bone, authorities said.
The dog, named Okashia, lives on the 3000 block of Wylie Avenue in northwest Baltimore.
While she lost a lot of blood, the dog is expected to recover, though vets were worried she might lose an eye.
Okashia, a shepherd-pit mix, was taken to the Emergency Veterinary Center in Catonsville, where she was sedated and given intravenous fluids. She was returned to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), where she was expected to be evaluated by a surgeon this morning.
As a result of Okashia’s treatment, and other recent emergency cases, BARCS’ Franky Fund — reserved for the most serious cases of sick and injured animals — is seriously depleted, according to officials at the shelter.
Contributions may be made here.
Caroline A. Griffin, head of Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Cruelty Task Force, said that in addition to injuries to her head, the dog has been found to have bruising to her lungs. Because of that, the decision was made to postpone surgery for her facial injuries until tomorrow.
According to police, Levar J. Bailey, who lives several doors down from the dog’s owner, attacked the dog in her own yard. When police arrested Bailey, 33, he was yelling, “The dog was trying to bite my daughter,” according to charging documents.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Bailey was taken to an area hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and that, according to police, he has a history of mental illness.
The two-year-old dog is owned by Shea-Quan Moore-Williams, who went outside after hearing the dog yelping to find her bloody dog and Bailey in the yard with an 18- to 24-inch black machete.
(Contributions to BARCS are also being collected this week at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, in connection with the ongoing photo exhibit, “Hey That’s My Dog!” Checks can be made payable to BARCS or BARCS Franky Fund.)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, attack, attacked, baltimore, depleted, dog, dogs, emergency, franky fund, machete, mix, neighbor, news, ohmidog!, okashia, pets, pit bull, shepherd, surgery, violence
Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe it was one smart dog. In any event an injured dog in New Mexico walked through the automatic doors and into the emergency room at San Juan Regional Medical Center over the weekend.
Staff and patients were stunned to see the unaccompanied German shepherd mix, about 7 to 8 years old, walk through the doors with blood on his nose and paw, and a small puncture wound on a rear leg.
Animal control officer Robin Loev responded to the hospital, where he found people gathered around the dog, giving him water, according to the Daily Times in Farmington.
Loev couldn’t find the source of the blood and it didn’t appear the dog was hit by a car. The puncture wound, probably from being bitten by another dog, didn’t require treatment.
Loev took the dog to the Farmington Animal Shelter, where it was vaccinated and given water and a warm blanket.
“Some of these situations that come up make you wonder just how intelligent these animals are,” Loev said.
(Photo: Xavier Mascareñas/The Daily Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, automatic doors, blood, dog, dogs, emergency, emergency room, farmington, farmington animal shelter, health, hospital, new mexico, news, pets, robin loev, san juan regional medical center, treatment, wound