MRSA in DOGS
It has been documented that MRSA infection can reach to animals particularly the Dog, Mans Best Friend. The documentation proved that MRSA is not only lethal to people but also to animals as well. The numbers of MRSA infection in in Dog’s has been increasing in this is due to the fact that the dogs, having significant direct contact to humans, are well in the reach of an MRSA infection mostly sharing it’s time with men. Here are the things you need to know about MRSA infection to our “best friends”.
Significance – What makes MRSA so deadly is that it is a staph infection, already dangerous, that has grown resistant to the antibiotics used to kill it. Thus, all current drugs that the medical field has to treat infection and rid the body of it are almost useless. Some drugs may still be useful, but the sheer amount of drugs that must be given can also become harmful. Staph bacteria grow rapidly in the human body, taking advantage of any wound or other entrance to the body. Staph is also something that is always on the human body, but does not usually become dangerous until the body is compromised in some way, as with an illness, wound or lowered immune system. In these cases, staph grows rapidly out of control, and the toxins it produces causes illness and eventually death.
Effects – MRSA in dogs acts the same way it does in humans. The animal will get a wound, or will suffer from a debilitating illness that weakens the system or allows the staph to gain entry to the bloodstream. Once the staph is in the body, one of two things can happen: the body will react as it should and seal off the infection at its point of entry, or the staph can enter the bloodstream. Of these two, the latter is far more dangerous. Once staph has entered the bloodstream, it can literally settle anywhere in the body and move from location to location.
Prevention/Solution – Preventing an MRSA infection can be easy or difficult, depending on the circumstances. Proper hygiene is the main preventative. Keeping any wounds or skin irritations clean with an antibiotic agent is the first step. Examine your dog each day to make sure that its skin is unbroken and healthy. Do not allow your dog to become filthy or matted. This is especially true if your dog suffers from any sort of dermatitis or skin condition, or if the dog has a special type of fur that needs regular grooming. If your dog is scheduled to have surgery, have it cleaned and use a special soap, like Hibiclens, to thoroughly clean the fur and skin, especially in the area where the incision will be made. Take extra care to keep the surgical site clean when your dog returns, and monitor the wound to make sure it is healing properly. It is also a good idea to make sure that the vet you use has excellent sanitation.
Warning – If your dog has been tested positive for an MRSA infection, it is extremely important to quarantine it and practice rigorous hygiene control, since MRSA is easily transmitted from human to animal and back again. Your dog has become a walking contagion, and as much as you love it, you need to take great care it does not come into contact with other animals, and take even greater care when handling the infected area of the dog. There will be topical as well as oral medication you will be giving to the dog, and it will be necessary for you to wear gloves and clean any instruments you use on the animal during treatment. The only way to prevent spreading the infection is to keep the MRSA contained.
MRSA in your dog is not an immediate death sentence. There are still drugs that can wipe out the infection, they are just not easily had and are usually quite expensive. The battle against an MRSA infection is often a long one. Injections, oral and topical medication will be given, and depending on how sick the dog is or where the infection is located, the dog may be hospitalized. Powerful antibiotics will be used that can also make the dog ill, so it will be necessary for the animal to be closely monitored during treatment. Even more importantly, it will be imperative to finish all medication that the vet gives to you to avoid the risk of reinfection.