Most people would agree that the joy of having a dog in the family is priceless. Therapy dogs that are used in hospitals around the country to spread comfort to kids and the elderly can spread mire than love and affection.They can also spread stubborn germs as well. Doctors at Johns Hopkins were suspicious that the dogs might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune systems.They conducted some tests of dogs that visited children cancer patients. The result, the kids who spent more time with the dogs had six times greater chances of coming away super bug bacteria than the kids who spent less time. further, the study also found that washing the dogs before the visits and using special wipes while they are in the hospital took away the risk of the spreading bacteria. The results were released last week at a scientific meeting in San Francisco. Whether it is covered in fur, scales, or feathers, all animals have the potential to carry germs that make people sick. Moreover, pet therapy can without question help people recover from a range of health problems. Past studies have shown that dogs for instance can ease anxiety, sadness, lower blood pressure, and even reduce the amount of medication patients need. In addition, MRSA or methicillin- resiststant Staphyloccus aureus bacteria often live on the skin without causing symptoms. They can become more dangerous if they enter the bloodstream destroying heart valves and causing other damage. Therapy dogs must be bathed within a day of a visit and are checked for wounds or other health related problems. Children who use them are advised to use hand sanitizer, but in most hospitals, this was not strictly enforced. Later in the study, the dog owners were asked to bathe the animals with special shampoo before the visits. In Turn, they also had dogs patted down every five to ten minutes with disinfecting wipes.With that, these steps dramatically decreased the bacteria level on the dogs.. further study is hoping that the use of these wipes and the bathing of the animals who can be bathed will reduce any super bug infection.. In conclusion, these animals are super important to the recovery and well being of the patients they serve. I am NOT suggesting that your children or the elderly stay away from the animals who bring them so much joy, but asking the hospitals who allow pet therapy about the super bug problem and how they are taking care of it will benefit us all.