It’s a widely known misconception that dog’s saliva is antiseptic. Even after some research I wasn’t able to find the origin of that urban myth but it’s definitely just that, a myth. Don’t believe me? Just ask Christine Caron. The mother of four had to have three limbs amputated after she was bitten by her pet Shih-Tzu on one leg, and then allowed another one of her pets to lick her wound.
Ms Caron from Ottawa in Canada, went into septic shock after she became infected with Capnocytophaga canimorsus – a bacteria common in dog’s and cat’s saliva. Doctors at an Ottawa hospital were forced to put her in an induced coma for six weeks and when she woke up, her legs were black and blue and her arm looked to be mummified.
Doctors had no choice but to amputate her legs and arm, leaving the 49 year old single mom crippled and in dire need of healthcare which, contrarily to what our southern American neighbors believe, is not universal, nor is it free in Canada. She got the basic care but the government will not pay for her prosthetic limbs and since she doesn’t have healthcare insurance, her family put up a page to accept donations to pay for her care.
I’ve had a Shih-Tzu before, even though I love animals and have many pets still, I didn’t care much for the critter. Definitely would still never harm an animal intentionally perhaps with the exception of anything tagged as “food.”
The Shih-Tzu? Mine was inherently cute but also a staggeringly proficient vomit puddle maker. That dog had the uncanny ability to calculate exactly where you would put your bare feet down after exiting a shower or your bed, and puddle vomit in the exact pattern you’d follow. This would cause you to step out of a shower, and into repeated puddles of Shih-Tzu throw up.
Pugs are decidedly better despite constantly sounding like two-stroke engined lawnmowers. Regardless, do not allow any pet to lick any of your wounds. Ever. My thoughts and best wishes go out to Ms. Caron and her family.
My final thoughts on this are of course abysmally cynical: Canada, the place where healthcare will pay for in-vitro fertilization and mammal augmentation, but not for prosthetic limbs (or unrelated, for AIDS meds.)