Dog saliva can cause infections

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Dog saliva can cause infections in humans

So-called dog kisses should be avoided. Bacteria can hide in the animal's mouth and lead to dangerous infectious diseases. However, simple hygiene measures are sufficient to protect yourself and your children. This was pointed out by the health expert of the professional association for pediatricians (BVKJ) in Cologne.

Children in particular like to be chewed off and kissed by pets. The animals are also happy to be taken to bed to cuddle. But all of this can lead to dangerous illnesses and should always be avoided, as Dr. Ulrich Fegeler from the professional association of pediatricians in Germany advises. If parents notice that a dog is licking a child, the affected areas should be washed thoroughly with water and commercially available soap. This can prevent pets from transmitting infectious diseases such as Pasteurella or Capnocytophaga canimorsus to children.

The "Pasteurella multocida" bacteria (a pathogen of the rinderpest) nest among other things in the mucous membrane of the turbinates and in the throat. Settlement can affect people as well as animals. The bacteria can reproduce well without causing symptoms in the infected animal. "Therefore, they can spread very well. A whole range of animals can be Pasteurella carriers without showing any signs of illness themselves," explained Fegeler. In humans, the pathogens can lead to sepsis, bone inflammation, inflammation of the lungs and meningitis. If there is a bacterial disease, it is treated conventionally in medicine with antibiotic drugs. The administration of antibiotics must be carried out quickly when diagnosed, since permanent damage threatens.

The germs of the "Capnocytophaga canimorsus" also occur in the animal mucosa, without the dog or cat itself having to fall ill. The bacteria can cause life-threatening conditions in humans. Diseases such as gangrene, blood poisoning, inflammation of the inner skin of the heart or meningitis can develop. If a child has been bitten or scratched excessively, a pediatrician should be consulted, advises Fegeler.

To protect animals and families from diseases, cat and dog owners should see a veterinarian regularly. A veterinarian examines the animal thoroughly and prescribes dewormers. If the animal is kept free from fleas and is also examined regularly, Fegeler also sees no concerns about keeping animals in the home. (sb)

Also read:
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Dogs can sniff out colon cancer
Animal-assisted therapy for depression

Image: Heike Berse /

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Video: Capnocytophaga: bacterial infection spreading by contact with dog or cats saliva, bites, scratches


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