From: Lee Albert Green MD MPH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Pepper spray in NY
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 03:41:39 GMT
Fred Roses <email@example.com> wrote:
> This is a good point. Does anybody know if there is likely to be
> permanent harm to the dog from either pepper spray, pepper solution,
> or ammonia?
Pepper spray is harmless. Hurts like nuts, but that's because it blocks
reuptake of substance P by the neuron that released it. Which is a
physiological way of saying it sets off a huge false alarm in pain
neurons. There's nothing wrong and no damage, but you can't convince your
brain of that!
By the way, it has no effect on birds. They use a different receptor. It
works on all mammals, hence its effectiveness for bears. The bird/mammal
difference is why pepper-laced bird feed will reduce squirrel raids of
your feeder without bothering the birds. Until the little furballs
develops a taste for pepper, of course.
Lee Green MD MPH
Dept Family Medicine
University of Michigan
PGP public key on MIT keyserver