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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:12 PM
Original message
Finally understanding the family dog
This was back before dogs were penned in the neighborhood, and he suffered a lot of assaults from other dogs, cars, etc.. and he was constantly LICKING HIMSELF. I knew that licking himself and groveling in the dirt probably had some sort of cleansing effect..............

Licking your wounds: Scientists isolate compound in human saliva that speeds wound healing

A report by scientists from The Netherlands published online in The FASEB Journal identifies a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing. This research may offer hope to people suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes and other disorders, as well as traumatic injuries and burns. In addition, because the compounds can be mass produced, they have the potential to become as common as antibiotic creams and rubbing alcohol.

"We hope our finding is ultimately beneficial for people who suffer from non-healing wounds, such as foot ulcers and diabetic ulcers, as well as for treatment of trauma-induced wounds like burns," said Menno Oudhoff, first author of the report.

Specifically, scientists found that histatin, a small protein in saliva previously only believed to kill bacteria was responsible for the healing. To come to this conclusion, the researchers used epithelial cells that line the inner cheek, and cultured in dishes until the surfaces were completely covered with cells. Then they made an artificial wound in the cell layer in each dish, by scratching a small piece of the cells away. In one dish, cells were bathed in an isotonic fluid without any additions. In the other dish, cells were bathed in human saliva.

After 16 hours the scientists noticed that the saliva treated "wound" was almost completely closed. In the dish with the untreated "wound," a substantial part of the "wound" was still open. This proved that human saliva contains a factor which accelerates wound closure of oral cells. Because saliva is a complex liquid with many components, the next step was to identify which component was responsible for wound healing. Using various techniques the researchers split the saliva into its individual components, tested each in their wound model, and finally determined that histatin was responsible.

"This study not only answers the biological question of why animals lick their wounds," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "it also explains why wounds in the mouth, like those of a tooth extraction, heal much faster than comparable wounds of the skin and bone. It also directs us to begin looking at saliva as a source for new drugs."

Ohhh, my Dudie was SMART. And, he didn't have insurance.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:56 PM
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1. That was actually determined years ago
that the antibodies produced in saliva do have a healing effect on a wound. It's why whenever a kid gets a cut on his hand, that cut goes right to his mouth. It's instinctive.

Now they have to work on mud and bee stings.
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. that's why mommy kissing a boo boo is's not the kiss but the saliva
she leaves behind...I always knew dog's had that healing ability, but not humans...thought we were toxic!!
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 03:59 PM
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3. Although too much licking can be bad
Our dog suffered a minor cut under one of his toe nails, and had to wear a cone for a week to keep him from licking it. The cone came off, but he licked the toe so much the nail became infected, and eventually the sheaf fell off. Now he has to wear the cone until the sheaf grows back out. It's been a month, and I won't be surprised if it will be ANOTHER month until the cone comes off. Poor, dumb dog.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, but why do they lick their balls so much?
There are, by the way, two acceptable answers.
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