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Complications to a pet’s health can take many forms, but the one in which a pet owner can make the most difference is infection. For the most part, a vet’s advice is all that is necessary; however, whenever a pet has to undergo surgery or experiences some form of trauma that breaks the skin, there is always the possibility that an opportunistic infection will occur and it usually falls to the owner to be the first to notice it.

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Four letters that arouse deep feelings of fear or suspicion or both. MRSA is implicated in the deaths of around 5,000 human patients per year; in the animal world there is limited information due to the lack of clear, accurate information.

Staphylococcus Aureus is one of the most common bacteria that we encounter each day. Typically harmless to healthy people and healthy pets, it is carried on our skin and in our noses. Infections may occur when the organism get into underlying tissue (such as , open wounds, surgical incisions or catheters)

MRSA stands for Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
MRSA is a resistant form of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and has been a serious problem in hospitals since the 1960’s when the increasing usage of antibiotics led to the emergence of resistant strains. This has continued to the present day, and research clearly shows that MRSA is spread from human to animal and has the potential to be exchanged in either direction.

Over the past decade there has been a substantial increase in MRSA infections in people and more recently in animals.  MRSA infections are spread by contact either diretly with a person who has the bacteria on their skin (for instance by shaking hands or participating in close contact sports) or by coming into contect with an object contaminated with the bacteria (this can include pens, telephones, door handles  and exercise equipment).

When people first hear about MRSA they may panic because they believe it will kill an infected person or pet and all of the family. THIS IS NOT THE CASE!. Healthy people and animals are at no great risk; in most cases, especially when detected early, we see animals fully recover from MRSA infections. The key to survival is early detection and targeted treatment.


Did you know…

MRSA and other bacteria are mostly spread by direct contact, but can also be spread by air currents or by sneezes or coughs.


UNDERSTANDING ANTIBIOTICS - Correct use of antibiotics with your pet

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All about infections


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