Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: MRSA/MRSP

MRSA, spider bites and denial

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
Bites from the brown recluse spider (see photo left) can be pretty nasty, and produce tissue damage similar to a typical MRSA skin and soft tissue infection. Despite the epidemic of MRSA that’s ongoing in many regions, particularly the US, MRSA infections are still sometimes misdiagnosed as spider bites. To a degree, I can see why this… Continue Reading

Staph food poisoning…possible pet reservoir

Posted in Cats
When it comes to public health concerns about staphylococcal bacteria from pets, most of the attention gets paid to methicillin-resistant strains like MRSA. That’s not surprising considering how important MRSA is in human medicine. However, staph that aren’t methicillin-resistant can also be a problem, since they can cause the same types of infections that resistant types… Continue Reading

MRSA transmission between hamster and human

Posted in Pocket pets
The more we look, the more we find when it comes to MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). As people start looking for it in different animal species, it’s often found. We’ve found it in many species already, including dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, walruses, dolphins and alpacas, so it’s not a big surprise to see a recent… Continue Reading

Aromatherapy, topical treatment and toxicity

Posted in Dogs
I have no problem with people considering "alternative" therapies for the treatment of infections. I perform research on non-antibiotic alternatives and hope that results pan out in the field. I have problems, however, with people that use unproven alternative therapies in lieu of proven conventional treatment or stray from the "do no harm" philosophy. I read… Continue Reading

MRSP transmission between people and pets

Posted in Cats
Today (like most days) I answered questions about the potential for transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) between people and pets. We have a long way to go before we fully understand the issues, but research continues to progress and we’re learning more and more. A recent study by Dr. Engeline van Duijkeren and colleagues from… Continue Reading

MRSP info sheet update

Posted in Dogs
The ever-popular methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) owner information sheet has been updated and can be found, along with info sheets on many other topics, on the Worms & Germs Resources page.… Continue Reading

More on vets and MRSA

Posted in Dogs
There are a number of published studies regarding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage by veterinarians, most reporting high rates compared to the general population. This is a concern because MRSA is an important cause of disease in both people and animals. Just having MRSA living in your nose doesn’t mean you’re going to get sick. Indeed, around… Continue Reading

Vets sued over MRSA

Posted in Dogs
When I give presentations to veterinarians about infection control, I often talk about legal liability as one reason they need a good infection control program. I talk about the potential bad scenarios, such as someone getting an MRSA infection from an animal and then turning around and suing the vet. I usually say something like "I don’t think… Continue Reading

Treat the pet, not the lab result

Posted in Dogs
The title of this post describes a very basic concept, but one that is sometimes forgotten or hard to follow. The key point is that the goal of treating a sick pet is to make the pet well. Getting well and getting "normal" laboratory data aren’t necessarily the same thing. A question that comes up… Continue Reading

I have MRSA…should my pet be tested?

Posted in Cats
I get this question a lot, from both pet owners and veterinarians. Typically, my answer is "no." Why not? The two big questions I always ask are "why do you want to know and what would you do with the results?" Sometimes people want to know their pet’s MRSA status to see if the pet was… Continue Reading

MRSP in the park

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
As multidrug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) become more common in pets, there are increasing questions about how to manage animals that carry them. A particular issue is what to do with carriers – animals that don’t have any sign of disease but still carry the bacterium. A small but increasing percentage of healthy… Continue Reading

Is Staphylococcus schleiferi zoonotic?

Posted in Dogs
Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) get a lot of media attention because of the ever increasing numbers of infections in dogs and cats, and concerns about transmission to people. However, there are many other methicllin-resistant staph of varying relevances. One is an interesting related bug called Staphylococcus schleiferi. There are actually… Continue Reading

Internet advice: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted in Dogs
The internet can be a strange place at times. You can find great, reputable and unbiased information right next to complete garbage. Often, the garbage is pretty apparent, but sometimes it’s dressed up well or mixed in with some good information. That’s a problem with veterinary advice and information sites. Among the creative myths identified… Continue Reading

Biohazardous cell phones

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
It’s amazing how attached people are to their cell phones. Many people will answer them without any thought of what else is going on. It’s something I’ve seen in veterinary hospitals where wireless or cell phones are the primary mode of internal communication. The natural tendency to answer the phone often overrides the thought process… Continue Reading

MRSP infection in a person

Posted in Dogs
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) is becoming a huge problem in dogs (and to a lesser degree cats). I think it can easily be called an epidemic, and probably even a pandemic, considering the degree of spread, the massive increase in cases and the international distribution of this multidrug-resistant bacterium. Public health concerns regarding MRSP have… Continue Reading

Livestock-associated MRSA in dogs

Posted in Dogs
A study we just published in the journal Veterinary Record (Floras et al 2010) described an MRSA outbreak in a dog breeding kennel. That’s a little unusual in itself, but considering how MRSA is spreading amongst the dog population, it’s not really astounding. What was unique about this outbreak was the strain of MRSA that… Continue Reading

Sequence type 398 MRSA infection from horse to human

Posted in Horses
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a huge problem in people and is an emerging pathogen in horses. Most earlier reports of MRSA in horses involved one strain, called CMRSA-5 in Canada, USA500 in the US, and sequence type 8 (ST8) as a more general term. This human-origin strain seems to be adapted for survival in horses,… Continue Reading

Live every day like you have MRSA

Posted in Dogs
I was giving a talk on infection control at a conference in Geneva a couple of days ago, and during a discussion with someone after the talk, I told them to "Live every day like you have MRSA." Not surprisingly, I got a bit of a strange look in response. I wasn’t trying to say, "live… Continue Reading

MRSA, antibiotics and dogs

Posted in Dogs
When multiple studies report the same results, it gets more and more convincing that the findings are true. This is becoming the case with antibiotic use as a risk factor for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in dogs. Late last year, I wrote about a study of ours that identified prior antibiotic use as a… Continue Reading

Another Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infection

Posted in Dogs
I’m not sure what to think about the recent increase in scientific papers about Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infections in people. This dog-associated bacterium has been well known for quite a while, and human infections have been sporadically reported, but it seems like there has been a big increase in reported cases over the past year. The… Continue Reading

Skin infections in dogs: Stopping the downward spiral

Posted in Dogs
A large percentage of advice calls that I get about methicillin-resistant staph infections in dogs are regarding skin infections. Skin infections (pyoderma) are a common problem, a leading cause of antibiotic use in dogs, and an often frustrating problem for vets and pet owners alike. One problem is that, unlike many other types of infections, skin… Continue Reading

Survival of MRSA in swimming pools

Posted in Dogs
Warm spells in early spring, like the recent warm spell in our area, inevitably lead to (premature) thoughts of summer, and for many people, this includes thoughts of spending time in the swimming pool. I’ve previously written about the presumably low risk of disease transmission from dogs swimming in pools, and common sense measures that… Continue Reading

My dog has MRSP… Should I be concerned?

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
This is a question I get a few times a week. Because methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) infections are becoming so common and people are aware of potential concerns regarding transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from pets to people, it’s a logical concern. Here’s my basic thought process when answering this common question: Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is very… Continue Reading

Big gun antibiotics in pets

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a huge problem in human medicine, and they’re an increasing problem in veterinary medicine. In pets, we are seeing dramatic increases in multidrug-resistant bacteria, some as a result of transmission from humans and some that are developing in animals. Regardless of the source, infections caused by resistant bacteria are a major… Continue Reading