February 17, 2011

I Happen To Believe My Mouth Is Cleaner Than A Dog's Mouth. Who's With Me?

Hello. I haven't been here in a long time. It's late. I just picked one kid up, the other is in the basement playing games and the other is asleep and I'm here, that's somewhere in between sleep and computer. So I figured I'd write a post about something inane and hopefully as it puts you to sleep, it'll put me to sleep and we'll wake up tomorrow refreshed.

It's the third one, the one asleep, that I was going to mention. The other day a little doggy bit him on the ear and it's been the topic of conversation because #3 tends to churn injuries and sicknesses over and over, for some reason. Maybe because he broke the same arm twice in a handful of months, needing casts and braces, an operation and therapy.  Perhaps he began to think it was his lot in life to be under close examination by physicians.  I'm not sure but we aren't making a big deal of the ear here.  I mean, we're keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get angry but evidently he went to school and involved the nurse. I love it when my kids go to school and ask the authorities if they should be better taken care of at home. I mean, sure, everyone needs a back-up and, great, Sean has his in line. He's no dummy, he sees what shenanigans go on around here. He knows I clip his fingernails while he eats his morning Activia.

Anyway, the nurse had finished teaching his health class and on his way out of the room, Sean asked her if dog bites can become infected. Incidently, Mrs. Nurse, I've been meaning to inquire: Could a dog bite, such as the one you can observe here on my right ear, become infected? Is there something my mother - who's home eating thin mints perched on the kitchen stool watching The View - should be doing...something preventative or...something she could apply to the wound to encourage healing? She replied, according to him, "No, they don't get infected. A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human mouth. I'd be more worried if you told me that a human bit you."

He relayed this to me when I scooped him up from school and was driving to the grocery store for taco shells. I was sort of surprised. "Of course it could get infected," I said, walking into the automatic door. It opens so slowly and I walk so quickly. "A scratch from a paper clip could get infected." "Well, I believe her, Mom, and not you," he announced, skipping along, trying to keep up. "She's a nurse." A nurse without Google, obviously, I thought, because I get all my information and enlightenment from googling. "All I know is, a dog licks his butt and I don't," I countered, winning the argument.

Then I went home and...yeah, I googled. Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human's? The word 'myth' appeared often but no real certain answers. Then I came upon an article that referred to a small study of 10 dogs' saliva and 10 people's saliva. On a scale from 1 to 4 (4 being grossest bacterial growth) 7 people salivas scored a 1, 0 scored a 4 / 1 dog saliva scored a 1, 6 scored a 4 and I quote: The majority of the canine plates looked (and smelled) like that gunk that gets down in your garbage can after the raw chicken got left in there. One was actually green and I swear I heard it chuckling to itself.

So can we all now agree that it's probably more worserer to get bitten by Fido than, say, your mother? And yes, as a matter of fact, I was trying to bite his forearm this evening. But only to prove a point.

8 comments:

Mom said...

so did his bitten ear get infected?
Usually nurses are pretty smart, but they have been known to make stuff up just to get someone else to quit bothering them.

Jennie said...

It looks better today. I was a little worried last night, it was looking quite red, but today I think it's on its way. I'm sure the nurse, who is very smart I'm sure, ;) was trying to hurry the kid out of class. He does tend to be quite, um, verbal.
I just don't think adults realize sometimes the weight of their words on little ears, if you will. What kids hear at school from the teachers is gospel as far as they're concerned.

Mom said...

My son once told me that the South had won the Civil War. Nothing I said would change his mind. I had to write a note to the teacher to have her explain that winning one battle was not the same as winning the war. The teacher was the only one he would believe.

Paul Nichols said...

I know a few teachers I DIDN'T believe when I was in school. I'd like to adopt Sean for a weekend or something. We could have lots of ornery fun together.

Paul Nichols said...

Oops Department. I meant to tell you that I'm really happy to see that your blog is functioning again. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

May I put this issue to rest for you, dear Jennie?

As a veterinarian (I know, I know, I drag that out whenever I want some credibility, but darnit, it fits here) I can say definitively that dogs have horrible, bacteria laden mouths, and any dog bite should certainly be considered a perfect site for infection. Scrub the wound and treat with antibiotics, nurse.

As for you sonny, listen to yer mama!

Anniebird

Jennie said...

Why thank you, dear Anniebird. I'm glad to hear it from the horse's mouth. ;) That's veterinary humor.

Last week I went to a 'girl's night' gathering at my friend's house. Her little doggie came in from outside and sat next to me on the carpet chewing something. I thought it was a twist-tie so I grabbed it and it took a few moments to understand what I was holding between my fingers: the leg of a bird, feathers attached to the top and all. How could a dog's mouth be cleaner than a human's mouth!?

Anonymous said...

I think your best argument is the one you articulated to your son...no creature that licks its own backside can be argued to have a clean mouth, end of story.

Anniebird