Fact: Dogs Can Smell Hypoglycemia
It seems like a Lassie TV episode, but it’s true, not fiction. Dogs can scent out a dangerous drop in blood glucose during a diabetic owner and alert the person to require action by pawing, licking, whining, or barking. Some dogs have even been trained and placed as diabetic service dogs. Their nose for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is correct 90% of the time, consistent with their trainers.
Fact: Humans Can Make Pets Sick
It’s not common, but it happens. H1N1 “swine” flu has hit cats, dogs, and ferrets — contracted from their sick owners. most frequently it’s mild, but a couple of pets have died, so vets advise frequent hand washing and separate beds when the owner is sick. Dogs and other people also can share equivalent strains of E. coli bacteria. And MRSA, the “superbug,” can move between humans and dogs.
Myth: Cats Steal a babies’-breath
This superstition goes back to the 1700s. When babies died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), people were quickly responsible for a cat seen lying within the crib. Today, soft toys, illnesses, a stomach-lying position have all been linked to SIDS — but not cats. Cats are drawn to cribs because they’re warm, cozy, elevated places — perfect for a catnap.
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