Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By DPA
Wire Service 

Cat bite your hand? If you want to keep the hand, go to the doctor

Meanwhile, Beware of giving your dog meat from the barbecue

 

Andrea Warnecke/dpa

What is it that makes cat bites so dangerous? It's the combination of two things: Cats have more germs in their mouths than other animals. At the same time, their teeth are long and sharply pointed.

(dpa) - While probably quite sore, cat bites can often appear fairly harmless. But no matter how clean you think the animal is, a bite from a cat can quickly become serious for humans.

Ruth Schaefer, a specialist in hand surgery, warns that this also applies to feet, just as much with hands or other bodyparts. That means no matter where the cat bit you, it has the potential to get serious, and a doctor should take a look.

But what is it that makes cat bites so dangerous? It's the combination of two things: Cats have more germs in their mouths than other animals. At the same time, their teeth are long and sharply pointed, meaning that while a cat bite won't make a huge cut, it will run deep.

That makes it easy for germs to get far under the skin, and a bite on your hand or foot can lead to bacteria getting into your tendons and joints. The same goes for other pets you think might have been bitten by a cat.

If a wound is not treated quickly, there is a risk of inflammation with serious consequences. If neglected long enough, an amputation may even be necessary.

Separately, (dpa) - Any dog owner who has ever hosted a barbecue will know how much their beloved pet wants to join in eating those delicious-smelling steaks, sausages or ribs.

But you have to stay strong: These foods are often salted, and are seasoned with lots of other spices and herbs that can be bad for dogs.

Monique Wüstenhagen / dpa / Monique Wuestenhagen/dpa

Meat from the barbecue can contain many ingredients that are harmful to dogs, so it's best to keep them away from it.

Salt especially can irritate dogs' stomachs, and they will feel thirstier than usual. This is stressful for their hearts and kidneys - for older animals or dogs with chronic illnesses it can even be fatal.

Onion or garlic has a negative effect on dogs' red blood cells - so keep them away from the marinated meat.

It's also not a great idea to give your dog the leftovers, as grilled bones can break up in the stomach and could cause serious harm.

Dogs don't know this intuitively, of course, and may go after the meat while it's still in the packaging. This can be very dangerous as well, as some packaging can't be digested, leading to intestinal obstruction.

So before you host your next BBQ party, make sure to tell your guests not to give the dog anything from the table - but perhaps encourage them to bring along a special dog treat instead.

 

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