Pets and Germs

Pets Are Filthy

Pets and germs: We can easily forget, when we’re kissing their dear little faces, that pets carry microorganisms that might just make us sick, or afflict us with scabies, kidney or liver failure, meningitis, intestinal parasites, respiratory failure, birth defects and fetal death, organ damage and blindness. They might even kill us. Eggs of the worm Echinococcus Granulosis, for example, transferred by licking from an infected dog’s hind end and by more licking to an adoring master, have the potential to take root in the human liver or brain or intestines and form potentially fatal cysts, fluid-filled sacks often the size of golf balls (they’ve been seen as large as basketballs) that can rupture and release the seeds of thousands of new worms. For the full panoply of horrors, see “Eeewh! Dog Germs!”

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