I Kissed A Dog

 |  Jan 30th 2009  |   9 Contributions

I don't know if anyone has watched the parody "I Kissed A Dog," but it's pretty funny, in a somewhat sick sort of way. Watch it, you'll see what I mean.

Well, thanks to findings of a recent study by Kansas State University veterinarian Kate Stenske, no one can say doggy kisses aren't safe.

Stenske looked at the incidence of the E. coli bacteria in both dogs and their owners. Studies show that more than half of dog owners fell into the face-licking camp, she says -- and, fortunately for them, they were no more likely to harbor the bacteria than those who employed, as our colleague Shari Roan at the Booster Shots blog put it, "stricter human-pet hygiene practices."

E. coli can cause serious health problems when it acquires genes that make it resistant to antibiotics. Stenske found that 10% of the dog-human pairs shared the same E. coli strains and that the strains had more antibiotic resistance than was expected. The owners had more multiple-drug resistant strains than their pets, which means it's more likely owners spread such strains to their pets than pets spread to their owners. While bed-sharing and face-licking didn't increase the prevalence of E. coli, owners who didn't wash their hands after petting their dogs or before cooking meals did have more antibiotic-resistant E. coli. The study is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

I wonder if they looked at dogs who raided the kitty litter?

* Toby giving his mom some kisses. Who could turn down kisses from that face?


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