A veterinary surgeon has warned pet owners to never flush their dog or cat’s poo down the toilet.
Ben, from the UK, shared a video explaining how animal faeces contains harmful bacteria that can cause serious health issues for other species, including humans.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Vet urges pet owners to never flush cat or dog poop down toilet.
For more Lifestyle related news and videos check out Lifestyle >>
“Did you know that you are not supposed to flush your dog or cat’s poo down the toilet?” Ben said in a video.
To back up his statement, he referenced an article from a British water company called Anglian Water.
“They say no you cannot flush any type of animal faeces down the toilet,” he said.
Vet tells of ‘heartbreak’ dog he would never get as he lists five breeds to avoid
“This is because of the presence of toxocara, a worm parasite in animal faeces, which is tolerant to the high temperatures and harsh conditions found in the final stage of processing used water.
“The reason toxocara is a worry is because it’s zoonotic, we can pick it up and children are particularly susceptible.”
Veterinary surgeon Ben has warned pet owners to never flush their dog or cat’s poo down the toilet. Credit: @ben.the.vet
According to The Conversation, animals can pass a “dangerous” zoonotic disease called toxoplasmosis to people, particularly through human contact with their poo.
Toxoplasmosis can lead to serious health issues for people, particularly those with weak immune systems and pregnant women as they can pass a life-threatening infection to an unborn baby.
“Humans are what is called an intermediate host for toxocara,” Ben explained.
“It means we don’t develop the adult worms in our intestines – but what happens is that we accidentally swallow the eggs (in poo particles) which hatch into larvae and these move around inside our bodies.”
The vet explained how people can get sick with an infection called visceral larva migrans, which is caused by parasitic roundworms passed from animals to humans.
“It’s where the larvae move around inside internal organs like the liver,” Ben said.
“Another form is ocular lava migrans where the larvae move to the eye and cause damage to the retina, potentially leading to sight loss.
“There’s also evidence that exposure to toxocara in childhood can reduce cognitive development and IQ.”
However, Ben reassured everyone the conditions were “thankfully rare”.
“But worming your dog or cat regularly will reduce the chance of them shedding these eggs,” he said, adding: “Don’t flush your dog or cat’s poo down the toilet.”
Many pet owners confessed they had no idea they weren’t supposed to flush animal waste down their own toilets, file image. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
His video has been viewed more than 400,000 times – with many pet owners confessing they had no idea.
“Why is this not more advised? I’ve been doing it for a year or more since having one cat and then adding another and now a dog,” one shared.
Another said: “I had no idea and been doing it for years.”
One revealed: “Done this for seven years – cat should come with a warning like this.”
Another suggested: “I had a vet tell me this once. I used to do it when my dog had accidents but after he told me about it, I stopped immediately.”
Some pet owners said they always dispose of animal waste in the bin.
“I’ve had dogs and cats my entire life, I’m actually traumatised about the number of people saying flushing their animal’s waste down the toilet is a regular routine,” one shared.
While another said: “I’ve never thought of flushing and was really shocked to hear people do it regularly.”
Meanwhile, some revealed how they developed the condition after coming into contact with animal faeces.
“I’ve got toxoplasmosis at the back of my eye. Awful recurring condition once I got it and they believe I was infected while my mum was pregnant (with me),” one shared.
While another revealed: “My dad is blind in one eye due to toxocara. Apparently from his mum gardening while pregnant with him and coming into contact with cat poo.”
The vet explained how animal faeces contains harmful bacteria that can cause serious health issues for humans, file image. Credit: John P Kelly/Getty Images
RSPCA Queensland suggests using biodegradable poop bags to collect dog waste and dispose of it in a bin.
While kitty litter can be flushed down the toilet or thrown in a garden.
However, The Conversation warned kitty litter can swell up and block sewer pipes so it’s best to avoid flushing down the toilet.
Kitty litter can be wrapped securely and placed into your garbage bin.
NSW experts from Brunker Road Veterinary Centre said flushing your pet’s waste down your own toilet is not a good idea.
“Your council frowns on this practice as it places an additional load on the sewerage system and animal droppings apparently don’t decay as easily as human excreta,” the experts explained.
“If you have one or two dogs, many councils allow you to place droppings in your garbage bin provided they are well wrapped to prevent odour.
“The disposal of cat waste is much the same. However, cats are generally cleaner and will bury their own droppings so you may never see your cat’s waste. If your cat uses a litter tray you can collect the solid matter and bury it while leaving the uncontaminated litter in the tray.”
For more engaging lifestyle content, visit 7Life on Facebook.
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.