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Tag: mouth

Reporter probes what’s inside dog mouths

You’d think Brian Andrews, as an investigative reporter at CBS News in Miami, would have plenty of legitimate and important issues to pursue — given all the land-raping, government corruption, injustice, drugs and sleaze the state of Florida has to offer.

Instead, he took his investigative skills inside a dog’s mouth. And he discovered there were germs in there.

News flash? Not exactly. We present it here not because it’s breaking news, but because it’s a good example of broken news — the kind of dopey reports that are increasingly common these days as TV news outfits, like newspapers, and websites, opt for quick and easy, crowd-scaring or crowd-pleasing, stories, then do their best to hype, tease and sensationalize them.

To determine whether you should let your dog lick your face, Andrews, a member of the station’s “special projects” team, gathered saliva samples from dogs in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and sent them to a lab to be tested, as part of the station’s continuing series called “How Dirty Is It?”

He was trying to determine if the adage nobody believes in the first place — the one about a dog’s mouth being a pristinely clean place — was really true.

We all know, or should, that there are going to be germs in a dog’s mouth, based simply on the sort of things that go in there. We also know, or should, that there are also plenty of germs in our own.

Upon completion of the doggy saliva tests, Nova Southeastern University microbiologist Dr. Julie Torruellas-Garcia concluded, “There was quite a bit of bacteria that grew from the dogs’ mouths.”

Based on the cultures grown in the lab from the samples, she said, there was “evidence of Nyceria, which is linked to STDs, pneumonia and plaque.”

“While our testing did not reveal the presence of any e-coli or bacteria that could cause a staph infection, Dr. Torruellas-Garcia and her students found globs of other microbes,” the news report said.

“You may want to think twice,” the report reads, “before you and your dog exchange siliva.” (We’re pretty sure they meant saliva.)

After raising fears about mouth to mouth contact with dogs, Andrews, in a complete turnaround, goes on to present a veterinarian who said kissing your dog isn’t all that dangerous. West Palm Beach Veterinarian Ken Simmons said any bacteria in a dog’s mouth doesn’t stay there for long.

“In the end, the testing didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary,” the story reports.

So the point of it all was …?

Yes, the canine mouth, like the human mouth, is a breeding ground for germs. (Perhaps a more interesting story approach would have been if Andrews swabbed inside his own mouth, and compared the germs he might be carrying behind his own well-flossed grill with those of dogs.)

And, yes, dogs can pass on illnesses to us, and vice versa.

But spare us the scare tactics, news guys. Stop wasting our time by telling us the obvious, because, obviously, we already know that. And don’t bad-mouth dogs, no matter how bad their mouths are.

Lifelines: Dog clings to rope even after rescue

shyloShylo, a 5-year-old husky, spent more than an hour bobbing in the icy waters of the Rock River in Illinois before firefighters tossed him a rope.

Shylo grabbed the rope in his mouth and held on, getting tugged partly to shore before a firefighter slid across the ice to pull him the rest of the way out.

Even then, back on land and in the arms of his rescuers, he kept the rope gripped in his mouth, not releasing it until after he was back home with his owner, the Rockford Register Star reported.

This week the dog’s owner Peggy Yarber, brought Shylo to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department to thank the firefighters who hauled him out of the river.

“This dog is my whole life,” Yarber said. “I can’t thank you enough. I really can’t. If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t be here.”

Yarber was visiting a friend when Shylo wandered off. He was found about a mile away, having fallen through the ice in the river. A nearby homeowner called authorities.

A Winnebago County animal control officer, tossed Shylo the rope that he latched onto to amid the ice chunks to help keep his head above water. As he neared shore, firefighter Christi Wilson crawled across the ice to grab him and slide him to shore.

On Tuesday, Yarber took her dog with her to thank the firefighters. Wilson greeted the dog with a bag of treats.

“Just him being here is enough thanks for me,” she said.

(Photo: Scott Morgan/Rockford Register Star)

Canine melanoma vaccine gets approval

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted Merial Limited full licensure for a therapeutic DNA vaccine designed to aid in extending survival of dogs with oral melanoma, the company reports in a press release.

Merial, a licensee of Vical Incorporated, plans to launch the product, called Oncept, at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando Jan. 16 – 20.

Melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs and is the most common malignant tumor of the dog’s mouth. It can also occur in the nail and footpad.

The vaccine contains a gene encoding human tyrosinase, an enzyme associated with skin pigmentation. The tyrosinase produced from the human DNA is similar to canine tyrosinase and has been shown to stimulate an immune response against canine melanoma cells producing tyrosinase. The use of DNA from a noncanine species causes production of tyrosinase that is considered foreign by the canine immune system, stimulating an immune response, acording to the vaccine’s makers. It is similar enough to canine tyrosinase that the dog’s immune response will target canine melanoma cells.

Normal treatment for canine oral melanoma includes surgery and radiation, but even after successful local treatment, the melanoma frequently spreads throughout the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and kidneys, and is often resistant to chemotherapy.

“The approval of Oncept is a milestone in the cancer vaccine field and a significant advancement for our DNA delivery technology platform,” said Vijay B. Samant, Vical’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Left to die, he’s rescued by another dog

When one of her two Pomeranians dashed out of the car seconds after she parked, Elizabeth Rivera followed to see what the dog was after.

When she caught up, Rivera found her dog Gizmo standing over a seemingly lifeless puppy in a drainage ditch, licking its face.

The white puppy, about 12 to 16 weeks old, was curled up in a four-foot deep drainage ditch with his muzzle tightly wrapped with duct tape. “We thought he was dead,” Rivera told the Wayne Independent.

Rivera, owner of Lizzy’s Head to Toe Salon in Newfoundland, Pa., found the puppy while visiting a friend in Hamlin, Pa. Tuesday night. An animal lover, she had brought her two Pomeranians, Angel and Gizmo, with her, tucked safely in her pocketbook when she exited the car around 10 p.m. But Gizmo jumped out and made a mad dash for the nearby ditch.

The dog Gizmo found growled when Rivera and a friend attempted to reach for it, but after letting the dog sniff their hands, the pup allowed the tape to be removed.

Read more »

Nebraska man puts dog above digits

Robert Larsen was playing fetch with his chocolate Lab, Nick, when a ball got lodged in his dog’s throat.

Rushing to his side, Larsen reached into his dog’s mouth. Nick bit down, severing Larsen’s fingertip.

What happened next is why we like Robert Larsen, 72, of Lincoln, Neb. – even though we don’t know him.

Rather than looking for his severed fingertip, uttering a few choice curse words, or rushing himself to the emergency room, Larsen took his dog to the veterinarian first.

The ball was still lodged in the dog’s throat when he arrived at Omaha Animal Medical Group. Vets removed the ball and revived the dog, and Larsen was taken to Methodist Hospital, then transferred to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Larsen was visiting a family member’s home in Omaha when the accident took place.

Part of Larsen’s index finger was found in his coat pocket, where it apparently had fallen off when he reached for his keys to rush Nick to the vet. Because doctors couldn’t guarantee the operation would be successful, he opted not to have the fingertip reattached.

“The finger was secondary,” Larsen told WOWT-Channel 6 News. “The dog was priority.”

Experts don’t recommend sticking your hand into your dog’s mouth if he’s choking, advising instead a Heimlich maneuver or blows to the dog’s back.

How to save your dog’s life

As promised, here’s a quick lesson on doggie CPR — a four-minute investment of your time that, while we hope you never have to use it, might pay off someday.

In the video above, Elaine Acker, CEO of Pets America, demonstrates the proper technique for performing CPR on pets.

Here, in a nutshell, is the drill:

If your dog is not breathing, use a finger to clear any mucus or other objects from the mouth. Tilt the head back to straighten the airway passage. Hold the mouth shut with one hand, and place your mouth over the dog’s nose and mouth, making sure the seal is tight.

Blow into the nose while watching to see if the chest expands.

If the chest does not expand, check and clear the dog’s mouth again, and start the procedure over.

If the chest does expand, release your dog’s mouth, allowing it to exhale.

Repeat the breathing procedure once every five seconds until your dog is breathing normally.

If your dog is not breathing and has no detectable heartbeat, and no other forms of help are available, cardiac resuscitation can be attempted.

To do this, put your dog on its right side and place the heel of your hand on the ribcage just behind the elbow. Put your other hand on top of the first hand. Firmly press on the ribcage in quick, smooth movements three to four times, using both hands. The compression should last no longer than half a second. The smaller the dog the fewer inches of compression and less force are needed. At all times take care not to damage the ribcage.

Repeat this procedure a total of 10 times. Then, if your DOG is not breathing, perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation again, alternating between 10 chest compressions and one breath into the dog’s nose.

Thanks to Pets America for the information.

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