Sorry, But You Can Catch UTIs From Your Dog
Sharing is caring, right? Well, your dog might be giving you more than you bargained for, as a new study has found that your four-legged friend could be a source of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
A study looked at people who were diagnosed with UTIs in Copenhagen, Denmark, and then tried to understand whether or not their dogs and cats could be an actual source of the infection. Publishing their conclusions on bioRxiv, the researchers found that in a some cases, the patients' pets may have been processing the strain of E. coli that caused the illness.
Urinary tract infections are brought on by germs normally discovered in poop entering the urinary tract and making their merry method up to the bladder. It is much more typical in ladies than in men-- with around half of all women expected to get a UTI at some time in their lives-- simply because the urethra is much shorter so it is easier for the germs to contaminate the bladder or kidneys.
When the germs go into the bladder, they begin to increase and cause the infection. This can result in numerous uneasy signs, including a burning experience while peeing, urine that is cloudy and smelly, blood in the pee, or perhaps simply regular urges to go to the toilet. Treatment is fairly simple, requiring a dosage of antibiotics.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen studied 119 people who had been dealt with for UTIs, finding that 19 of them dealt with pets. They then asked these pet owners for a sample of their own poop, in addition to a sample of their pooch's poop.
After sequencing the bacteria found in both samples, they were able to identify two pets
from different households that both brought the exact same strain of E. coli germs that caused their owner's infection. But this on its own didn't determine the pets as the cause, as the humans may well have actually passed the germs onto their dogs, rather than the other way round.
To figure out who contaminated whom, the researchers got the participants to wait 10 months and then asked to send in another batch of poop samples for them to sift through. The arise from this showed that while among the canines was clear of the germs, one was still harboring the same strain that triggered its owner's infection. This, the researchers argue, indicates that the canine might be constantly bring the infection, which it then passed to its owner, although they can not show this definitively.
How the canines might have been passing it on, or whether other family pets might likewise be a source, is still not really understood, although the researchers do suggest that felines might also be offenders. Basically, they suggest a couple of safety measures, such as cleaning your hands and not letting your pooch slobber all over your face. Lovely!