Share the bed with your pooch and you could end up worms or having cysts removed from your Liver!

I wouldn’t describe myself as a germ phobe- although perhaps you can be the judge of that.  I’d like to think you may join me in my germ “awareness” shall we call it, after a little further reading.

So I’m out in Pubic and i have GOT to go!  After a short internal scream at the realization of what I have to do next, I make my way toward the public toilet.  A small kick to the bottom of the toilet door opens her up, and there she be- home to a millennia of bacteria.  Hepatitis A can pop in for a visit, a host of viruses- even the common cold doesn’t mind snuggling up alongside Streptococcus and lil ole staphylococcus on your every day public toilet seat.  

With germs so thick in my presence, my facial acknowledgement to the olfactory mine field i am in says it all.  I’m aware the faeces from the previous user can be propelled- yes propelled, into the air when the toilet is flushed, enabling microscopic airborne mist from landing ON MY FACE- eeeeek.  The Mt. Sinai Medical Centre, advises leaving the cubicle immediately after flushing to keep the microscopic, airborne mist from choosing you as its landing site. The greatest aerosol dispersal occurs not during the initial moments of the flush, but rather once most of the water has already left the bowl.  Close the lid when flushing.

Ok- so in the scheme of things, a few air borne particles aren’t going to literally kill anyone are they- well no, not usually.   However, there is a habit that I will admit, is not regarded as repulsive by a lot of people-  Pets in your bed.  

Ok ok- I get it, I love animals, however my love for the four legged souls is not going to see those lawn prowling paws in my boudoir!  

Dogs and cats walk their cute furry little paws god knows where, over god knows what in your back yard and up the street- and let’s face it, some dogs love nothing more than to literally roll in their cute fluffy coats into a fellow k9’s poo!  

I suppose my awareness came to me upon return from South America, I went along- however came back with a tape worm about 40cm long inside me- yeeeeeeeeeeeees, I said that, I am now very aware of just how easy it is to have these suckers- literally, hanging off the inside of us. 

There is normally around 4-5 kilos of bacteria, parasites and fungi living inside us- 4 – 5 kilos.   Essentially we are living hosts for these organisms to thrive.  You want to make sure you have the healthy good bacteria and micro flora living it up in your gut and not the parasitic opportunistic nasties!

Enter the tape worm! (Hopefully not literally) The life cycle of the tapeworm alternates between herbivores and carnivores, typically sheep, foxes and dogs.  Humans are an accidental intermediate host and become an end point in the tapeworm’s lifecycle. 

Here is why pets are a no go in my bed- no matter how doe eyed & fluffy!

Cows and sheep become infected by eating the grass contaminated by dog faeces.
A sheep will ingest the eggs which hatch in the sheep’s intestine and then travel to the liver where what is called a hydatid cyst develops.
When a dog eats the sheep’s organs containing the hydatid cyst, the dog becomes infected and passes eggs out in their faeces- just being around dogs is enough to pick up worms.  
The example above is obviously a bigger issue if you are from rural areas of Australia, however even in the city- you need to be cautious of where your meat is coming from.   A lot of us city slickers enjoy their steak rare.   Rare is not enough to kill all pathogens and worms that may be residing in the meat.  So be sure to purchase from reputable butchers.  Tape worm can also be found in fish-
Sushi loving folk need to be wary of the health and safety standards being used out the back of your local Asian sushi store.
So how do these worms and cysts end up on you?

The grazing animal- your doe eyes fluffy pooch in this case, eats dog, fox or dingo faeces infected with tapeworm eggs.  Other animals that may be infected include pigs, cattle, goats, horses, camels, wombats, wallabies and kangaroos if you are in area where these animals live.   Eventually your pooch’ organs (such as the liver, brain or lungs) grow watery sacs called hydatid cysts. These cysts contain tapeworm heads and a mature cyst may contain several million such heads.  Share a bed with your family pet and those tapeworms that are more than likely worming their way out of Fido’s behind, will soon find their way into you-  eeeew!
If you would like any more info on Hydatid cysts, tapeworms or any other bacterial and parasitic infection-  Dr Cabot has detailed info on her Liver Doctor site
If you want optimal gut health, a good liver and bowl detox annually- if not bi annually, is recommended.   There are also steps you can take in your day to day life that will ensure your bowel is as clean as possible- reducing your risk of contamination and keeping the micro flora in your gastro intestinal system working in your favour.