Your dog’s kisses could contain deadly superbugs, a study says

Newsflash: Dog butts are crawling with nasty germs.

So the innocent, thumbless creature does its best to clean with its tongue and teeth – from the same wet snout that loves to give you kisses.

Now a new study is urging dog owners to stop allowing their dogs to lick them — and even wash their hands after petting a pooch — as their drool could be a source of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

A joint team of researchers from Britain’s Royal Veterinary College and the University of Lisbon focused on a superstrain of E.coli found in fecal samples from humans and animals from 41 households in Portugal and 45 in the UK.

Almost 14% of the dogs (14 out of 85) exhibited the superbug, giving them the greatest proportion of infected faeces.

Before we turn up our pooches, the results also suggest that we bipeds aren’t much cleaner, with around 13% of human samples (15 out of 114) showing the potent E.coli – so we might not want to lick them either each other.

Meanwhile, it was the not-so-humble cat that was rated the most hygienic, with just 5% (one in 18) showing the superbug.

Harmful bacteria have evolved to resist our most powerful drugs and are considered one of the greatest global public health threats of our time. Scientists have already identified drug-resistant strains of several well-known germs, including salmonella, tuberculosis, streptococci, staph, and so-called “super” gonorrhea, to name a few. These are in addition to the more than 2.8 million drug-resistant infections — 35,000 of them fatal — that occur in the US each year, the US said latest data from the Centers for Disease Control.

“Even before COVID, antibiotic resistance was one of the greatest public health threats,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Juliana Menezes, whose findings will be presented later this month at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon. “It can make conditions like pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract and wound infections untreatable.”

The researchers can’t be sure who — human or animal — is responsible for the spread, so they’re asking pet owners to be vigilant with their puppies and refrain from wet kissing or “eating from the owner’s plate,” Menezes said the telegraph.

However, Menezes found that E.coli is found in the gut and therefore in the feces. As such, she emphasized that “good hygiene practices on the part of owners would help reduce sharing, such as E.g. washing hands after picking up dog poo or even after petting.” Your dog’s kisses could contain deadly superbugs, a study says


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