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How do we test for MRSA?

The only way to identify MRSA is to take a sample and analyse it in a laboratory.

A culture can identify the bacteria and find out which antibiotics will kill it. It is very important to identify the bacteria involved, and how they can be treated. This is important because otherwise it is likely that an ineffective antibiotic treatment will be used with the possibility that the infection will worsen.

Always discuss with your vet the benefit of taking swabs or a urine sample before prescribing broad spectrum antibiotics

MRSA can be tested for in various ways, but for pet owners the most important in terms of treatment is the one of Culture and Sensitivity. When a sample from an infection is sent by the vet it is grown in a small dish of nutrient gel (Culture) and then identified. Antimicrobial drugs are added to ascertain which ones kill it effectively (Sensitivity) and the results are then used to determine what treatment to use against the infection. The main difficulty comes if an infection has occurred internally and a sample cannot be obtained, in which case the vet will use his best judgement to work out the most likely bacteria present and treat accordingly.

Other methods of testing, such as the PCR assay test, can be used to identify the specific genetic features of a bacterium, but, to the pet owner, these are of less significance than knowing what antibiotic will be effective in treating an infection.

Did you know...

A small proportion of the general pet population carry MRSA or similar MDR bacteria, but the carriage rate in sick animals that have visited veterinary practices is higher.

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All about infections

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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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Symptoms

If you notice these symptoms report them to your vet immediately. You may be suspicious of a complex and/or resistant infection if you pet has: A wound that will not [&hellip

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Bugs Explained

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is only one of a number of bacteria that can be resistant to lots of different antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a relatively common finding in long-standing [&hellip

How we have Helped

My daughter Kass, (15yrs) had what looked like a spider bite on her arm. Over a few days time it looked very infected and swollen so I took her to [&hellip

Cathy Conner – Chloe

We adopted Bear, a five year old Shih Tzu in March of 2006. In January 2008 I felt what seemed to be a cyst below his shoulder, and the vet [&hellip

Fritzie Maddock – Bear

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