Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: MRSA/MRSP

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MRSA and atopy

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
A recent question: "If a dog has severe atopy that is poorly managed, and is colonized w/ MRSA  (superficial dermatidis on neck ventrum and axilla) are repeat infections w/ MRSA likely, if the allergies cannot be controlled?" Dogs with atopy (allergic skin disease) are prone to opportunistic infections because of the abnormal skin "environment" and… Continue Reading

Dog bites and MRSA

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
There’s been a lot of talk (hype) in the press about pet bites and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This relates to a paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases regarding infections associated with pet bites. Some press articles are more sensational than others, but most are taking the bite infection paper and building in unrelated comments about MRSA in… Continue Reading

EFSA Statement on MRSA in animals and food

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
The European Food Safety Authority, along with the European CDC and European Medicines Agency, have released a report about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in livestock, pets and food. There’s nothing too earth-shattering in it, and nothing more than what we’ve been saying all along, but some of the points are worth repeating. While food may be… Continue Reading

Preventing infections in the home

Posted in Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
There is a nice, concise commentary in the most recent issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal about preventing infections in the home. It covers three important organisms: MRSA, Clostridium difficile and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). An excellent aspect of this particular commentary is its relatively low-key approach, with an emphasis on routine, basic practices such… Continue Reading

Another reason to stay away from surgeons

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
As a veterinary internist, I’m always looking for a good excuse to harass veterinary surgeons, and a recent study we performed with Dr. Lee Burstiner (an aspiring surgeon but a good guy anyway) at the 2008 American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) conference gives me more ammunition. This study is being presented today at the… Continue Reading

MRSA strains found in pets

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important  (and high profile) cause of disease in people, and an emerging problem in animals. Evaluating the types of MRSA that we find in pets can help us understand what is happening with MRSA in pets and why. A few different studies have evaluated the types of MRSA found… Continue Reading

Pet therapy and patients with multidrug resistant bacteria

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
I received this question on hospital visitation animals today… For patients who are on contact precautions for a multidrug resistant organism, what other than hand hygiene could be suggested?  I am currently rewriting our hospital infection control policy related to pet therapy and visitation with clients with a MDRO [multidrug resistant organism]. I was thinking… Continue Reading

Should I isolate my dog with MRSP/MRSI?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP, sometimes misidentified as methicillin-resistant S. intermedius (MRSI)) is an increasing problem in dogs and cats. This highly drug-resistant bacterium is a particularly problem in skin and ear infections, and the number of infected animals appears to be increasing significantly. A related bug, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) has been a major problem… Continue Reading

How long do animals carry MRSP/MRSI?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases
I’ve had this question a lot lately. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP), which is sometimes misidentified as methicillin-resistant S. intermedius (MRSI), is an important and increasing cause of infections in dogs and cats. After an animal has had an MRSP/MRSI infection, a question people often ask is how long they will carry the bacterium? MRSP can be… Continue Reading

Healing with honey

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, MRSA/MRSP
As we encounter more infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria (e.g. MRSA), we need to explore treatment options other than antibiotics. While we usually focus on "new" treatments, sometimes we can look back in time for ideas to treat infections. An old treatment method that is getting increasing attention these days is the use of honey.… Continue Reading

MRSA in veterinary surgeons study: results

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
An MRSA prevalence study was recently performed at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) conference in San Diego, CA. As per the study protocols, results are being made available through  the Worms&Germs website. Click here to download the results file. This file contains code numbers for all positive results. If your number is not… Continue Reading

Your mother was right! Wash your hands

Posted in Birds, Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Horses, MRSA/MRSP, Other animals, Other diseases, Parasites, Pocket pets, Reptiles, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
You may notice a recurring theme in many of our posts and on virtually all of the information sheets on the Worms & Germs Resources page: an emphasis on handwashing. There is increasing emphasis on hand hygiene (i.e. hand washing and use of alcohol hand sanitizers) education in hospitals because the hands of healthcare workers… Continue Reading

What puts dogs at risk for MRSA?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
It’s clear that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a problem in dogs, both in terms of dog health and in terms of dogs as a potential sources of infection for people. It is thought that MRSA in pets is often (if not usually) acquired from people. Until recently, it has been unclear what makes individual… Continue Reading


Posted in Clostridium difficile, Diseases, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases, Parasites, Rabies, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
If you are looking for an interesting website to play around with, you should try HealthMap. This is a website created by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology that maps infectious disease reports from various sources. You can search by region and see what disease problems have been reported recently, or select specific… Continue Reading

Treatment of MRSA and MRSP: more than meets the eye

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) are important causes of infection in pets, and are resistant to many different antibiotics. It’s therefore very important that these bacteria are cultured and tested in a lab to determine what antibiotics may be effective.  Even then, choosing an effective medication can be difficult due to… Continue Reading

How did dogs get MRSA?

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
A common question from owners of pets infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is "Where did it come from?" The answer is not completely clear, but evidence strongly suggests it probably came from humans. The MRSA strains found in pets are almost always teh same as those found in people (including people that don’t have… Continue Reading

Hot spots

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases
This time of year, hot spots (aka superficial pyoderma, moist pyoderma, pyotraumatic dermatitis) are a common problem in dogs. Hot spots are more common in males, and most often occur on the cheek (pictured), neck or outside of the thigh. Normal skin is covered with various bacteria but infections don’t develop because healthy, intact skin… Continue Reading

Is it a spider bite or MRSA?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
Skin reactions from spider bites are usually very mild, if they are even noticed.  However, bites from certain kinds of spiders can cause severe skin lesions that may develop into  deep open wounds.  These are sometimes called "volcano lesions". Deaths due to such bites have been reported, mainly in children. However, the relatively small brown… Continue Reading

EU Antibiotic Awareness Day

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
The European Union has announced that November 18 will be the EU’s Antibiotic Awareness Day. Antibiotics are incredibly important drugs and save countless lives (human and animal) on a daily basis. Resistance to antibiotics is a major threat to human and veterinary medicine. While antibiotic resistance is a complex issue, overuse and improper use (in… Continue Reading

Methicillin-resistant staph: what’s in a name?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
There is a lot of concern and confusion about methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections in pets. "Staphylococcus" is genus of bacteria which contains numerous different species. All these species can come in ‘methicillin-resistant’ forms that are resistant to many antibiotics, but some of these species are of greater concern than others. The main species of concern are… Continue Reading

I’ve been diagnosed with MRSA….could my pet be the source?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a multidrug resistant bacterium that is often referred to as a ‘superbug’. It is an important cause of disease in people, both in hospitals and in the general population. It can also infect various animal species, including dogs and cats. A small percentage of healthy people and animals (1-3%) carry… Continue Reading

Horses and MRSA

Posted in Horses, MRSA/MRSP
Many people in the horse world have heard the hype about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in horses. MRSA can cause infection in horses, just like it can in people, dogs, cats and many other animals. It’s usually what we call an “opportunistic” pathogen, meaning it usually takes advantage of a person or an animal that… Continue Reading