But dog drool actually contains an weird superpower, as Twitter learned this week: it can turn your pup’s fur a bright shade of green.
“The story begins with a lot of drool” Stephanie Olson, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University, wrote in aviral twitter thread in this week.
Stephanie Olson explains the chemical reaction behind her dog’s new green coat.
Let’s go back and explain. On July 18, Olson a Twitter thread about a secret about her dog Olive:
I was alarmed when I found my dog â€‹â€‹going GREEN overnight. I had no idea why. But it turned out that as an early Earth geochemist, I was perfectly prepared to find out!
In the following thread, Olson – who studies early Earth geochemistry – decided to use her scientific knowledge to solve the mystery of Olive’s new goblin coat. Her science endeavor intrigued the internet by talking to the strange science behind a dog’s sloppy drooling.
Can drool change a dog’s color?
In short: yes. As Olson explained, a chemical reaction between a dog’s saliva and its fur could change the color of its fur.
First thing you need to know: olive wore a dog conethat acts as a barrier to prevent dogs from scratching their wounds after surgery or while their injuries are healing.
But the cone had an unintended side effect, as Olson found out in the course of her Twitter analysis. While Olive slept, the cone held the dog’s excess saliva to its neck.
Contains human saliva Ferritin – a blood protein that doctors use to test for iron deficiency in human children. Likewise, as Olson explains, dog saliva also contains iron.
In particular, dogs have iron porphyrins, which are “iron-containing molecules that are produced when the body breaks down red blood cells”. according to Veterinarian Michael Fuchs. As Olson explains, when iron porphyrins interact with oxygen in the air, they can form rust-colored particles on a dog’s fur.
Olson: Dog saliva contains iron porphyrins. When it comes into contact with oxygen, the iron is oxidized to form iron oxide nanoparticles. Rust, essentially. Because of this, Olive and many other drooling dogs have rust-red spots on their mouths. “
Veterinarians refer to this rust-red effect as “Tear stainsâ€œBecause porphyrins are often excreted through the dog’s tears, urine and saliva.
The dog cone, however, isolated Olive’s neck from the oxygen in the living room, which created a different – and greener – effect in the humid environment of the cone.
Has saliva many roles, including providing nutrients to oral bacteria. As Olson explains in the thread, bacteria in saliva used up the oxygen in the contained “neck swamp” created by the cone and turned Olive’s fur from red to a rare green rust Colour.
“And the discoloration along her neck went from rusty red on her chin to rusty green – both symptoms of the cone, thanks to the combination of her unusually humid environment around her neck and the continued isolation of oxygen in the air.”
In addition to transforming your pup’s fur, dog saliva also has a few other important functions, including anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists have analyzed Dog saliva To better understand dog diseases and health conditions.
What Can Cause Dogs To Turn Green?
We’ve already learned how dog drooling can turn your pup into an adorable leprechaun in unique circumstances.
As it turns out, there are more common reasons why your dog’s fur might turn green. For example, if your dog enjoys swimming in pools, you may have noticed that their fur turns pale green. This is due to a chemical reaction between the dog’s fur and chemicals in the pool, similar to that of the green bleaching effect of chlorine on human hair. chlorine oxidized Copper in the pool, which then binds to proteins in hair or fur.
The American Kennel Club suggests Immediately after swimming, wash your dog’s fur with cold water to remove all pool chemicals. Veterinarians have found that oxidizing effects from other items, like metal dog tags, can cause dog hair to change color.
But on rare occasions, your dog can go green right from the womb. In July 2017, pet owner Louise Sutherland said CNN that one of her dog’s newborn pups had turned up with a shocking green coat.
Previous items suggest that this green glow is due to exposure to the anti-inflammatory molecule biliverdin, also known as green bile. Exposure to biliverdin while in the womb can sometimes turn the bright pups’ fur green.
When your pooch finally starts changing color, see a veterinarian for the safest way to clean the fur and bring it back to its usual shine.