Thursday, 24 April 2008

The cult of fear


A report in The Times says that pet owners should not let their dogs sleep in or on their bed, or even in the bedroom because of the risk of disease transmission, according to Fred Landeg, one of Britain’s leading veterinary surgeons. He said people needed to be more aware that new and emerging diseases were just as likely to affect household pets as farm animals. These are his words: “When you look at new and emerging diseases many are zootic and passable from animals to man”. Besides the risk of unknown exotic diseases, dogs also carry common food poisoning bugs: campylobacter and salmonella. Researchers say some 10 per cent of dogs are thought to carry the superbug MRSA and go on to say that many dog owners appeared unaware of, or unconcerned about the potential health from the daily interaction with their pet.
I think this is utter bilge and scaremongering at its best. It’s all bureaucratic babble drawn up by people who sit behind a desk and who are far removed from clinical vetenary medicine.
You are far more likely to catch MRSA by shaking hands with somebody or by having your wisdom teeth out in a NHS Hospital.
What you can catch from French or Italian loos is anybody’s guess.
I do believe there are good reasons for not sharing your bed with your dog. It has nothing to do with the above. I shall write about that in one of my next posts. Watch this space…
However I do agree with Dr Landeg who recognises the positive health benefits from owning a dog: people who walk dogs tend to be fitter and have lower blood pressure and people with dogs recover faster at home after an operation.

10 comments:

jmb said...

I think most people are prepared to risk it, whatever the risks may be.
I'm afraid I was a sharer of my bed with a dog, well the last one at least but the others always slept in our bedroom. I don't know how the last one managed to convince us that she had to share the bed too, but she did and when we were away she had to share my son's bed, so she said.

Winchester whisperer said...

Well said, ED: you are the voice of reason

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Dog gets blamed as usual. We used to have Molly sleep in our room until Sparky arrived and we decided to keep them both together in the boot room. They're now happy as pigs in muck. Or dogs in baskets as they are.

CJ xx

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm glad you think this is rubbish, eurodog. Simi sleeps on my bed when she wants to, and in one of her 3 other beds when she feels like it! She is my family and nicer than a lot of people I know.

Flori said...

I'm back! It's great to see that your blog is still as alive and interesting as ever.
Although we don't share our bed with our dogs, we still hug and kiss them, and I think you're right about hospitals being the far larger risk for catching a nasty disease!

Mopsa said...

Might as well say don't have pets at all. As you say, bilge. Wonderful piece in the Guardian by Michele Hanson about this (scroll down after stuff on pensions):
Michele Hanson in the Guardian

Mopsa said...

And I saw this: Fee the Hungarian Puli and thought of you!

VioletsVintage said...

Crazy ideas about animals come and go, this is another one.

Eurodog said...

Thank you all for commenting. We are all dog lovers but I dare say there are quite a few people out there who do no agree with us.
Mopsa, yes I did read the article in the Guardian. Very funny, I agree.

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree, ED. Society is getting so mamsy pamsy - as my husband says. Where will it end?