Medical Mythbusting 101: The Magic Dog Lick
"The best thing I've found to help heal my wound is letting my dog lick it!" What!?
"The best thing I've found to help heal my wound is letting my dog lick it!"
I once had a diabetic patient with a really bad wound on his big toe. I was explaining to him how to treat the wound. I told him to clean his toe with saline and to use an antibiotic cream on it afterward and to put a small band-aid or dressing on. He told me he would do so and I told him I wanted to see him the following week. The next week my patient comes in with a dirty band-aid on his toe almost falling off with a foul smelling odor and looks at me as if everything was fine. I ask him,"Sir, what happened to your toe? It was doing fine last week. Have you been cleaning it and using the cream I told you to use?" The patient replies, " You know what doc? I found something even better for this toe. I let my dog Sunny lick that thing and I think it is doing a heck of a lot better!"
This is a complete untruth to say the least. Dogs have been know to eat their own poop, correct? I can attest to the fact that my dog, if left unattended, will savor the flavor of his or his fellow canines waste. Do you see where I'm headed with this? I bet you do. Now, knowing this, would you honestly say that Fido's waste filled tongue should be on your open wound? I don't think so!
Most humans have a strong belief in good hygiene, and brush their teeth at least once or twice every day. Human mouths rarely come into contact with external bacteria. Dogs' mouths, in contrast, are rarely cleaned in most cases. Dogs also have a tendency to sniff around and eat bacteria-filled waste — including rancid food and feces — whenever they are given the opportunity to do so. Contrary to popular belief, dogs' mouths are far dirtier than the mouths of the typical human being.
So, if you or someone you know loves to let their dog "lick their (the humans) wounds" please advise them otherwise. Say no to Fido and see your doctor immediately!