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PhotobucketHey Leodini,

I know you are the Mr. Know-it-All magician in the Philippines.

Let me ask you this question: with all these stories about bird flu, swine flu, and AIDS virus, may I have your no-nonsense opinion.  Is it safe to kiss my dove?

Magic Smoocher


Hi Magic Smoocher,

I didn’t know that I know I’m Mr. Know-it-All, so I guess that disqualifies me from the title.

Yes, you can have all the no-nonsense opinion you want from me. I have been known for giving them away generously.

Why would you like to kiss your dove beats me.  Don’t you have a wife or a girlfriend?
PhotobucketWell, here’s the awful truth.  Kissing transmits bacteria between kissers, regardless of who you are kissing.  Take it from Dionne Warwick who once sang that a kiss “can get you enough germs to catch pneumonia.”

I, too, heard the rumor of the health problems posed by doves and other birds.  I set out to find the answer and consulted a professional.  Fortunately, Dr. Oyee Sebastian, a veterinarian holding a senior position at the Manila Zoo, is a member of Inner Magic Club.

When asked the question, he said, yes, it’s possible to catch avian-borne diseases from pet birds.  After 24 hours, birds’ droppings can become a rich breeding ground for a certain type of virus that can cause the potentially fatal encephalitis or meningitis.

These health hazards are preventable, though.  Just make sure you clean the cages once a day and not allow droppings to accumulate in the cage for more than 24 hours.  Spray the cage with Lysol.  It’s a good idea also to bathe the doves once a day, making sure that no droppings stick to the claws or feathers.

What all this boils down to is this: If you give your doves a daily cleaning ritual, you can kiss it safely all you want.  Just don’t French kiss it, because that might be a little awkward to do.Photobucket

Find a girlfriend if you want to be Gallic with your kiss.

Stay magical,