Microbes, which represent a large part of the planet’s biomass, are the most common type of living organisms in the environment. There are not many pathogenic varieties, and in the normal state they do not cause the development of diseases. Harmful bacteria, which include Staphylococcus aureus, are present on the skin or in the body even in a completely healthy dog.
Causes of the disease
Staphylococcus aureus is present in both humans and dogs. The most common place of habitation — the skin, the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory and genital tract. Normally, it is suppressed by the immune system and other microorganisms.
If the body’s natural defense against negative factors (immunity) fails, Staphylococcus can cause serious infectious diseases.
There are many reasons for the activity of pathogenic microorganisms. For example, a pet may come into contact with a dog that is a carrier of virulent strains, or its body was weakened after a long illness, during the treatment of which antibiotics were used for a long time. In addition, the development of pathology can provoke:
- hormonal disorders;
- skin diseases;
- the bites of parasites;
- an unbalanced diet;
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies;
- improper care.
The most common reason that reduces the dog’s immune system is skin damage, which leads to inflammation of the microflora.
It is noteworthy that if the owner of the animal is a carrier of Staphylococcus aureus, in 30% of cases, the pet will not be able to avoid infection.
This is especially true for small, decorative dogs, which are constantly squeezed and often even kissed.
Which breeds are more susceptible
The pathogenic strain of Staphylococcus aureus is present in any dog, regardless of breed, age and gender. At risk are puppies and young dogs whose immunity is not yet fully formed, as well as elderly individuals whose body is weakened by various chronic diseases.
The main symptoms
Staphylococcus aureus can be easily confused with some other disease. Most often, it is disguised as dermatitis. The host should be alerted to the following symptoms:
- fever of a constant or intermittent type;
- vomiting and diarrhea leading to dehydration (in the intestinal form);
- inflammation, swelling around damaged skin;
- discharge of purulent exudate from the wound;
- clumped hair and its loss;
- defeat of the mucous membranes;
- unpleasant smell from the skin and ears;
- slow healing of wounds.
In some cases, the wounds turn into boils or poorly healing, very painful ulcers. As the infection progresses, the animal’s condition worsens, which is why it is so important to show the pet to a specialist in time.
Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic
To detect pathogenic microorganisms, the veterinarian, in addition to visual examination and anamnesis, will need to conduct a number of diagnostic studies. These include:
- taking a smear from the loop and prepuce;
- examination of scraping from an ulcer on the body of an animal;
- test for allergic reactions and immune diseases.
Further, tests for the sensitivity of the strain to antibiotics are mandatory. This is a necessary measure that allows the doctor to prescribe adequate treatment.
A blood test cannot confirm or deny the presence of infection in the dog’s body, so this type of study is not appropriate.
Treatment method and prognosis
Treatment of Staphylococcus aureus is complex. You need to understand that this is a long process that requires a lot of patience from the owner. Be sure to prescribe a course of antibiotics, sometimes several drugs of different spectrum of action. They are selected individually, based on the results of testing for the sensitivity of the strain.
The dosage is set by the veterinarian. For example, when prescribing Ceftriaxone, it is at least 40 mg per 1 kilogram of weight. The course duration is 5 days. If during this time the dog’s condition has not improved, it is advisable to replace the drug.
In addition, Immunostimulants, bacteriophages, hepatoprotectors (to protect the liver), antihistamines, as well as drugs containing antibodies to harmful microorganisms are shown.
Injuries to the skin and mucosa are treated with disinfectants (hydrogen peroxide, protargol solution, aluminum alum, etc.), after which antimicrobials are applied to the treated surfaces to eliminate itching and wound healing ointments. If an abscess forms on the skin, it is opened surgically, the dead and damaged tissues are excised and drained.
Therapy, which lasts from 3 to 6 weeks, should not be interrupted without the permission of the veterinarian. The disappearance of clinical signs does not mean that the pathology was defeated. This is just a period when the disease recedes. After the treatment, repeated tests are performed.
As for the prognosis, Staphylococcus aureus cannot be completely cured, since the pathogen is constantly in the animal’s body. However, treatment prevents the possibility of relapse and deterioration of the pet’s condition under the influence of pathogenic microorganisms.
What to do at home
The dog owner must strictly follow the instructions of the veterinarian. In addition, we must not forget that Staphylococcus aureus can be transmitted to humans, so when caring for a sick pet, you need to take the necessary precautions:
- Wash your hands with household soap, using a brush to treat the space under the nail plates.
- Use disposable medical gloves. After manipulating the dog, they must be thrown away.
- Isolate the sick animal from other family members and Pets.
- Collect and destroy the feces of the dog by burning.
- Disinfect the room where the pet is located, its toys, bedding, etc. Things that are not of great value, it is better to burn.
A sick dog should receive a full – fledged balanced diet, enriched with vitamins and macronutrients. If the animal has vomiting and diarrhea, gastric lavage, cleansing enemas are performed. A starvation diet is indicated — at least 12 hours.
Since the body is exhausted, parenteral nutrition is produced. During the recovery period, low-fat broths and porridges on water are gradually introduced. Products in the diet should be introduced gradually, feeding should be carried out in small portions.
Staphylococcus aureus is often accompanied by severe itching and scratching, which leads to the penetration of infection deep into the skin. This, in turn, causes the development of pyoderma. Often infected animals have allergic reactions, endometritis, pyometra.
To avoid repeated relapse, it is necessary to strengthen the dog’s immune system, protect it from stress, provide a full diet and quality care. Wounds should be treated with antiseptic in a timely manner to prevent the occurrence of ulcers. If you suspect Staphylococcus aureus, you should immediately contact a veterinary clinic.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.