The Big Scoop: Pete the Vet discusses poop scooping on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show

To listen to this week’s podcast, featuring an update on the importance of poop scooping after your dog, click the play button at the foot of this page.

Dogs Trust has launched their annual dog fouling awareness campaign, ‘The Big Scoop’ to encourage more people to be kind to their community and pick up after their dog. Dog fouling is a human problem not a dog one. The charity aims to encourage responsible dog ownership in order to reduce the amount of dog poo being left in public spaces. Although dog fouling is no laughing matter, Dogs Trust have created a humorous video in the hope that it will be shared across social media, helping to spread their message that picking up after your dog is not a big deal.
Recent research revealed that 93% of dog owners claimed they do pick up after their dog. Yet 52% of people surveyed indicated that there is a big problem with dog fouling in their area. 8 in 10 people claimed to have walked in dog poo on the street, 46% came across dog poo in their local children’s park, 27% rolled a buggy through dog poo, 30% rolled a bicycle through it and 9% rolled their wheelchair through it.

It has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. Dog poo can also contain nasty bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like round worm, the larvae of which can cause loss of vision. The charity is urging the public to always pick up after their dog using a Poo Bag or a scooping device before disposing of it in any bin and then to wash their hands when they get home.

Follow the conversation on twitter @DogsTrust_IE using the hashtag #BagItBinIt

One important clarifying point: this week, a Facebook post was circulating, with a photo of a young child with a red sore eye, titled “Blinded by Dog Poo”. The text said “I lost the sight in my eye because when I fell over, I got a little bit of doggy poop on my hand. I only wiped my eye a little bit”. This post is completely wrong: a classic example of fake news. Children cannot go blind from getting dog poo in their eyes. In fact fresh dog poo cannot cause blindness at all. The problem is worm eggs in old dog poo that has been incubating in the environment for 2-3 weeks or more, so it may not even be visible any more. It may just be in the soil. If a child gets this stuff on their hands and swallows it, the worm larvae may then hatch in their intestines, be absorbed into their bloodstream, and only then travel to the eye, where a cyst may form. Fresh dog poo does carry pathogenic bacteria, but it cannot cause your child to go blind. So yes, pick up dog poo. It’s really important. But also understand that fresh dog poo is not what can cause blindness in children.

Questions from pet owners for Pete

The following questions came in this week:

  • My thirteen year old terrier cross has a small lump on her hindleg. Should we take her to the vet or just monitor it to see if it changes?
  • I am looking after a 6 month old cat for someone who has gone overseas. They don’t want to have her spayed because they want her to have one litter of kittens. What can I do to stop her mating with the local tom cats?
  • Is it every OK to feed our Golden Retriever scraps from our table?
  • I am buying a goldfish for my little boy: should I get one or two? Do they need company?
  • My dog is nearly 16 and her teeth keep chattering randomly. What could be causing this?
  • What’s the best way to prepare young cats for the arrival of a new baby?
  • I am looking at buying a Newfoundland Collie Cross. Is this a good mix?

To listen to the answers, listen to the podcast below.

Listen to the podcast:

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