MRSA was once confined to patients who spent a lot of time in a hospital or a health care facility. However, it has since spread to the general population. Not only are humans not safe from the super bug, our best friends are not either. Here is a look at MRSA and your dog.The UK-based Bella Moss Foundation is striving to inform dog owners of the risk to their pets. The founder, Jill Moss, started the foundation after she lost her beloved dog Bella to the disease.
MRSA, also known as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is commonly found in the environment. However, it has mutated to the point where it can be spread back and forth between humans and animals, as well as to the point where it is resistant to many common antibiotics.
As a dog owner, it is in you and your pets best interest to be informed on the types of infections that can cause either of you harm. That way, you can take the necessary precautions to keep both of you safe.
In today’s world, bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents are all around us. MRSA itself is harmless under many conditions, and many people and pets carry colonies of it on their skin and never face an infection. However, even a small cut or wound can allow the MRSA bug to enter the system, causing an infection with the potential to turn deadly.
MRSA is a strain of staph that is resistant to many of the most commonly used antibiotics. Even worse news, this super bug seems to have the ability to mutate every time a new antibiotic is used against it. The bacteria attack a weakened immune system, making it especially dangerous to human and canine patients that spend extended amounts of time in the hospital.
Being proactive at preventing the spread of MRSA is the best way to prevent an infection. The best way to prevent MRSA is through good hygiene. MRSA can be spread back and forth between humans and dogs through direct contact, so keeping both clean is of the utmost importance. Find out what hygiene practices your veterinary hospital has in place, particularly in cases when your pet will need to stay in the hospital for a treatment or surgery. Ask for cultures to be done before your vet prescribes an antibiotic to make sure that you are using the right one and not contributing to the overuse of antibiotics. Always have your pet take the full dose of antibiotics as prescribed by the vet.
You can also look into natural form of health care for you and your pet. Some proponents feel strongly that proper nutrition aids in building your dog’s immune system, so talk with your vet about any changes in diet that can improve your dog’s health. You can also talk to your veterinarian about the use of herbs and essential oils to treat active infections. If your vet is not familiar with natural remedies, a homeopathic veterinary specialist will know which formulations will be the most beneficial and are safe for your pet to take.