Staph Infection In Dogs – Everything You Need To Know

Staph Infection In Dogs – Everything You Need To Know

What Is Staph Infection?

Staph is a common name for several types of bacteria, including Strep throat, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant enterobacteriaceae (VRE) and drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). All these infections are very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. They are often associated with skin infections, fever, severe headache and other symptoms.

How Does Staph Infection Affect Dogs?

The most common type of staph infection is called “strep throat”. This bacterial infection causes redness or swelling of the throat area. It may cause coughing up blood and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include:

Coughing up blood

Difficulty breathing

A high temperature (fever) and/or chills

Skin inflammation such as blisters, sores or rashes around the mouth, nose or eyes. Skin lesions may also appear in the groin, armpits and elsewhere on the body.

These skin lesions may become infected.

Severe headaches and often confused behavior

How To Treat Staph Infection In Dogs?

It is important to seek immediate treatment for your dog from a veterinarian if you suspect it of having a staph infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat staph infection. Occasionally, a more complex course of treatment may be required. If the infection has spread to other body parts, surgical intervention may be necessary.

What Can We Do At Home?

There are some things that you can do at home to help alleviate your dog’s symptoms until it can be seen by a veterinarian:

Your dog will probably experience some pain and discomfort as a result of the infection. It is important to keep them comfortable while the antibiotics seek to clear up the infection.

This can be done by keeping them indoors so that they don’t get stressed and become over-excited. It is also important that they get plenty of rest.

You should also keep your dog’s skin clean to prevent secondary bacterial infections, which may otherwise be caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. Clean your dog’s skin with a mild, anti-bacterial soap and lukewarm water.

If you clean your dog’s skin and keep it dry, it can help to promote healing and comfort.

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Allow the wound to dry and apply an antiseptic ointment or spray to prevent secondary bacterial infection.

It is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog’s condition worsens or does not start to improve within a few days of starting treatment.

What Is Staph Infection Of The Skin?

Staph infection of the skin is a common skin disease caused by staphylococci bacteria . It mainly affects animals that have a reduced ability to defend themselves due to old age, a suppressed immune system or skin diseases. Staph infection of the skin is very contagious and can spread quickly in environments where hygiene is of poor quality. Dogs are most commonly affected by staph infection of the skin.

How Is Staph Infection Spread?

Staphylococcus bacteria are present on the skin or in the noses of almost half of all humans. They do no harm while they remain in balance with the healthy levels of other bacteria and yeast that live on the skin.

The problem arises when there is an imbalance between the colony of Staphylococcus bacteria and their competitors. This can be caused by:

A reduction in the number of competing bacteria (e.g.

when using antibiotics)

A reduction in the number of epithelial cells

Abnormal growth of staphylococcal cells

Staph bacteria are spread through direct contact with infected people or animals. They can also be picked up indirectly by contact with objects that have been in contact with someone else’s skin (such as towels or bed sheets).

What Are The Symptoms Of Staph Infection Of The Skin?

Staphylococcus aureus (often shortened to staph) is the most common cause of staph infection of the skin. In most cases, symptoms do not appear immediately after being infected and can take anywhere between 1 and 3 days to present.

The symptoms of staph infection of the skin are:

Very small reddened bumps on the skin that may appear similar to insect bites

Skin lesions that ooze yellow liquid before turning into scabs

Sticky, infected hairs that often catch dirt and are easily pulled out

A general feeling of restlessness and severe discomfort (especially when the skin is touched)

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A patchy rash that does not tan under the sun (eliminates vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium and magnesium from food)

Sores and wounds that do not heal

High fever and chills (in severe cases)

Treatment And Prevention Of Staph Infection Of The Skin

In most cases, staph infection of the skin is easy to cure and does not spread into deeper layers of the skin or underlying tissues. Your veterinarian may prescribe one of the following antibiotics to treat the infection:

Cephalexin (also known as Keflex)

Clarithromycin (also known as Klaricid)

Doxycycline

Enrofloxacin (also known as Baytril)

Fluconazole (also known as Diflucan)

Itraconazole (also known as Sporanox)

Tylosin (also known as Tylan)

If the infection spreads into deeper layers of the skin or underlying tissue your veterinarian may prescribe one of the following:

Amoxicillin (also known as Clavulanate)

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Cefalexin (also known as Keflex)

Doxycycline

Enrofloxacin (also known as Baytril)

Fluconazole (also known as Diflucan)

Itraconazole (also known as Sporanox)

Pipemidic acid

Tylosin (also known as Tylan)

Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Discuss any concerns you may have and be prepared to allow a minimum of 5 to 7 days for recovery.

Unlike humans, dogs do not have the ability to sweat. As a result, they release heat and moisture through panting and their tongue.

When a dog is infected with staph, a thick yellowish growth of pus (also called a “foamy”) may develop on the tongue. The growth can interfere with the animal’s ability to lap up water. In addition, the dog may experience difficulty in swallowing.

In rare cases, staph can infect the joints. The most common symptom is a swollen joint (such as the elbow or shoulder).

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Staph infection of the shoulder is also called “Buck-Shot” due to the similarity to a gunshot wound. The swelling and pain can be severe and make it difficult or impossible for the animal to move the joint. Staph infection of the nails (nail bed) results in a “thickening” of the nail and can make it painful for the animal to walk.

Staph can also enter the body through a break in the skin (such as a cut or puncture wound). Staph can be introduced through contact with an infected object, such as an infested bandage or even an infected human.

Staph bacteria are extremely common, especially among people who live in close quarters. Staph can be spread easily through contact with infected people.

Staph can also be spread through petting zoos, pet stores, grooming parlors and other animal-related businesses.

Most staph bacteria are harmless, but they tend to over-populate the skin and mucous membranes of people and animals. A small cut or puncture wound is all that is necessary for the staph to infect a new host.

The most common symptoms of staph infection include: pus-filled bumps, swelling, redness and pain. In the case of a minor skin infection, your veterinarian may clean and bandage the wound.

Additional antibiotics are generally not necessary.

In more severe cases, such as a deep puncture wound (such as a bite), your veterinarian may choose to culture the wound in order to obtain the correct type of antibiotics to treat the infection. Antibiotics may be given orally or by injection.

It is extremely important to keep the animal from biting or licking at the wound. If the animal licks or bites at the wound, it can introduce more bacteria into the body, resulting in an even worse infection.

The animal should also be kept isolated from other animals until it is determined that the wound is not infected.

When staph bacteria infect the body, they can enter the bloodstream (bacteremia) and rapidly invade the heart, joints (especially under the claws) and other organs. The bacteria can also produce a toxin that attacks the internal organs (endotoxemia).

Most fatalities associated with staph infection arise when the bacteria enter the bloodstream or produce a toxin.

Staph infection is usually fatal if the bacteria enter the bloodstream. This is a common disorder among human infants and elderly people.

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The immune system of infants and the elderly are not as strong as that of adults in their prime.

The symptoms of staph infection are similar to those of other conditions; therefore a veterinarian should examine the animal if any of the following symptoms are noticed: pus-filled bumps, swelling, redness and pain.

What Might Cause A Pet To Develop A Staph Infection?

There are several factors that may contribute to the development of a staph infection in pets:

immune system problems (e.g.

secondary to cancer or auto-immune disorder)

inadequate grooming

crowded living conditions

previous wound or injury

Recent vaccination may reduce the animals’ resistance to bacteria and increase the risk of infection.

The most common symptom of a staph infection in dogs is the appearance of pus-filled bumps on the skin. Other symptoms may include: swelling, redness and pain.

The appearance of such symptoms usually correlates with the location of the infection: for example, a staph infection on the paw may cause the dog to limp.

Other symptoms may also depend on where the staph bacteria enter the body, such as through a break in the skin (e.g.

a bite or puncture wound), through the nostrils (e.g. nasal staph infection) or in the digestive tract (stomach).

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Staph bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin. In dogs, the most common location for a skin break to occur is on the foot (e.g.

a puncture wound from a nail or rugged terrain), although it may also occur on the leg or elsewhere on the body.

A staph infection on the paw may cause the dog to limp or favor the leg.

It is important to keep the wound clean to prevent a staph infection from forming.

Using human antibiotics on dogs should be strictly avoided, as it can lead to antibiotic resistance in the bacteria and make it harder to treat the pet in the future.

Staphylococcal disease can be found in both dogs and cats, but the location of the infection depends on where the bacteria enter the body. Infection primarily affects the skin, bones, and joints (such as the elbows and knees), or organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.

The most common symptom of a staph infection in dogs is swelling and heat around the site of infection. Other symptoms may include: pus-filled bumps, redness, pain and loss of function (lameness).

The location of the infection depends on where the bacteria entered into the body. For example, a staph infection on the paw may cause lameness, while one in the nostril may cause a discharge from the nose.

Staphylococcal disease can be either acute or chronic. In acute cases, symptoms are relatively mild and may resolve on their own without treatment.

In other cases, a staph infection can become chronic and lead to permanent organ damage or even death in severe cases. A chronic staph infection may also occur without previous symptoms and is detected during tests performed for other reasons.

It is important to seek prompt treatment if your dog has been bitten or scratched by another animal, has a skin infection that does not clear up within a couple of weeks, or it has a fever.

Where are these infections mostly found?

Staphylococcus can be found just about everywhere, both in the environment and on people and animals. Most of the time it causes no problems, but in some cases it can cause disease.

For example, human staph infections often occur in warehouses or factories where employees are exposed to metal fragments in the air (commonly from cutting metal). Skin wounds after such accidents allow the bacteria to enter the body, and factory workers can develop localized skin infections.

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Although treatment is easy, such as a short course of antibiotics, such “sharps injuries” can have severe consequences if the bacteria enters the bloodstream and potentially causes serious illness.

What do they look like?

Staphylococcus can survive for long periods of time outside the body, but does not usually invade healthy tissue. Outside the body, it tends to form small, round bumps (called “curds”) on the skin; these are a few millimeters in diameter and are white in color. Inside the body, it is often located in the lungs or nasal passages in a dried form, where it can cause disease.

Sources & references used in this article: