UK Registered Charity 1122246 This website would not be possible without the kind help of Tony Martin of the “AV Martin Charitable Foundation”

Bacteria live all around us, on our bodies, in our guts, and in our environments. This is entirely normal, and some bacteria help us to function – you may have seen yoghurt advertisements about the “good bacteria” in our guts which help us digest food. S. aureus live on and around us entirely normally.

When an antibiotic is used, some of the bacteria that are exposed to it can “learn” to fight it off. If you take an antibiotic tablet, the antibiotic spreads all over your body – so bacteria all over your body are exposed to it. Therefore, if antibiotics are used a lot, then bacteria get a lot of opportunities to “learn” to resist the antibiotic. It is thought that over-use of antibiotics by doctors and other health-care professionals from the 1950s onwards has allowed many bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

Some S. aureus bacteria are particularly good at becoming resistant to many antibiotics – and so when antibiotics were (and are) over-used, they could develop into bugs like MRSA. MRSA lives in the same places as normal S. aureus, and like normal S. aureus, it is usually harmless.

Like other S. aureus bacteria, MRSA lives on skin but particularly likes moist warm areas such as our nostrils and throats. These bacteria can also live in dust in the environment, so can live in debris in hospitals and houses alike. People thought that MRSA could not survive in dry environments for more than a few hours, but there is now evidence of it surviving on dry surfaces for up to a year.

Because MRSA lives on our skins and in dusty environments, good hygiene is absolutely critical to preventing its spread. Secondly, reducing antibiotic use will prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.

In some regions, increases in MRSA in pets have lead to the use of important drugs such as vancomycin. These drugs are critically important for the treatment of life-threatening MRSA infections in people, and the use of them in animals is quite controversial. Reducing or eliminating use of these drugs in animals is an important public health consideration. A key part of reducing the pressures to use these drugs is reducing the number of infections. The Bella Moss Foundation supports the rational use of antibiotics, but wishes to stress that good hygiene and a reduction in reliance on antibiotics is essential in the war on resistant bacteria.

  • Key Points to remember
  • Antibiotics should only be used where absolutely necessary!
  • Never stop a course of antibiotics without veterinary advice
  • Never use antibiotics prescribed for humans on animals unless under veterinary guidance

All about infections

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Skin Infections & Pyoderma

1. How significant is infected dermatitis to the overall health of a dog? Superficial bacterial skin infections or pyoderma rarely cause significant illness. The clinical signs include itching, pustules, scaling [&hellip

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MRSA in Farm Animals

In 2005, the first report on MRSA in pigs came from The Netherlands. A relation was found between MRSA positive persons and living on a pig farm or working with [&hellip

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Spotting Infections

Infections can generally be treated successfully with a single course of antibiotics, which may come in the form of creams or ointments, injections, or tablets, and many infections will even [&hellip

How we have Helped

My dog Larry became infected with MRSA following cruciate ligament surgery (just like Bella did) I searched the website for information on pets and MRSA and found The Bella Moss [&hellip

Charlotte Hudley (Gloucestshire)

Freya is our 2 1/2 year old Doberman. On the 16th September 2007, she was running to pick up her toy in the park and as she turned to come [&hellip

Chris and Julie – Freya

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