My mother always told me that it was good to let the dog lick my cuts. It would help them heal she said. Is this true?
If you have a dog, you know that they love to lick you. Most of us see our dogs licks as kisses and a sign of affection.
Well, have I got some interesting facts to share with you. There are a lot of reasons a dog might lick you and they most likely aren't for kisses.
Our canine companions like to put their tongues on us for a variety of reasons, Dog licking is a kind of communication technique used for stimulation. What we call "dog kisses" is actually something that starts at birth. Licking is how a mama dog communicates with her puppies. Licking is the way that dogs are stimulated to start breathing, and how they are cleaned, licking is in fact essential for the survival of the puppies. In a pack of wild dogs, the more subordinate members will lick the more dominant members, it's part of keeping harmony.
Dogs also like the way we taste. Our skin is salty. Certified applied animal behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch tells the American Kennel Club that "humans have slightly salty skin, especially after sweating during exercise. Therefore, those licks might be more about seeking salt than giving affection". Horowitz adds that if your dog likes to lick your face, it will often happen after you’ve finished a delicious meal.
That being said, if your dog is self-licking excessively, it might be time to have your vet check them out.
My mother always told me that it was good to let the dog lick my cuts. It would help them heal she said. Is this true? Well, the answer is: it depends. Canine saliva can be helpful in cleaning your wound and even healing it. In fact, this is also true of human saliva. It is said that their saliva may have antimicrobial and healing properties. Dog saliva is even slightly bactericidal against Escherichia coli (E. coli), and against Streptococcus canis. The key here is: slightly.
A 63-year-old man in Germany died after contracting a rare bacterial infection. The cause of the infection was licking from his dog. The case has prompted doctors to caution pet owners to be aware of any unusual symptoms.
Details about the case were published in the European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine called "Being Licked by a Dog Can Be Fatal: Capnocytophaga canimorsus Sepsis with Purpura Fulminans in an Immunocompetent Man"
In the study, we learn of an unidentified man who was 63-years-old but otherwise healthy. The man developed flu-like symptoms and came down with a fever, had trouble breathing, had noticeable leg pain, and a rash of purplish-red splotches found on his face and legs.
He was found to be infected with C. canimorsus without a bite injury and did not demonstrate immunodeficiency or any other typical predisposition. Despite extensive intensive care, his conditions deteriorated and he died from multiorgan failure. The doctors later learned that he had been touched and licked, but not bitten or injured, by his dog, his only pet, in previous weeks.
The Doctors who treated this man want pet owners to be aware that those of us with flu-like symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when their symptoms exceed those of a simple viral infection.
While we all know that dogs are man’s best friend, these reports have served as a reminder that our furry friends carry bacteria in their saliva that can cause disease, and even death, in humans.
Capnocytophaga germs are normal bacteria commonly found in the mouths of people, dogs, and cats. According to the CDC , capnocytophaga germs that are common in dogs and cats can be spread to people through a bite or after close contact with dogs or cats. Infections are more often linked to dog bites or dog contact.