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

Some of the animals we have helped

Cynthia – Jetson

Cynthia – Jetson

My 7 year old Scottish Terrier, Jetson, developed a limp in his hind leg. At first it was just occasional and I just assumed he had some arthritis. Then one morning I got up and found that Jetson had thrown up during the night – an amount much greater than I would have thought the stomach of a dog twice his size would hold – and couldn’t walk at all. I took him to the vet. His white count was very low and his leg joint swollen. They gave him antibiotics and some medicine for his stomach and we went home. He continued to get worse through the day and that night I took him back to the vet (a sister hospital to Jetson’s vet that stays open till 10:00 at night -- yea) and he spent four days in the hospital. His white count continued to drop, he wouldn’t eat and couldn’t put any weight on his back leg. Several test were run including a tick titer and all came back negative. A bone marrow biopsy was even done as all were worried about cancer (he had an mast cell tumor removed from his penis 7 months before.) Finally the vet tapped the joint itself and the test showed he had MRSA. We were all quite surprised. That’s where Jill came in. She put Jetson’s vet in touch with a vet in the U.S. that specializes in MRSA and provided information directly to my vet. There was time when we were not sure that Jetson would live but know he is healthy and happy and likes nothing better than taking a long walk and chasing a few squirrels. Jill was a great source of information and certainly a comfort during the whole ordeal. Thanks to Jill, and Jetson’s doctor he is doing great.
Christine – Troy

Christine – Troy

Troy, our 12 1/2 year old Wire Fox Terrier, had an ear infection and diagnosed with MRSA in April, 2008. Immediately, we contacted Jill and Lori at the Bella Moss Foundation and they provided tremendous support. Jill spoke to our veterinarian and she became a tremendous advocate and educator. We eventually took the homeopathic route for nine months and then cultured Troy's ears again. He was MRSA free! After two weeks of antibiotics, Troy became infection free! However, his destiny was marked. A twist of fate arose when Troy was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (DM). The initial symptoms occurred at the same time he was diagnosed with MRSA. Yet, we contributed his imbalance to the ear infection. By the time Troy was MRSA free and infection free, he could not use his hind legs. He was officially diagnosed with the incurable DM which destroyed his muscle and nerve tissues. Through this entire ordeal, Jill and Lori continued to support us. They were true friends who understood the pain that we shared with our pet and companion. Troy's spirits were raised the last three weeks of his life with a cart that my son built so that he could stand upright and use his front legs to walk by himself. By July, the disease started to spread to his front legs. His quality of life diminished regardless of the numerous accupuncture and physical therapy sessions. Troy became extremely frustrated. On July 3rd, we put Troy, our true friend, companion, brother and child, to rest. Hopefully, he is now jumping and prancing around in a place unseen with our eyes. Rest in peace, Troy (1996-2009). We'll always remember and love you.
Gwen – Heisman

Gwen – Heisman

In November of 2008, our 2 year old yellow lab, Heisman, was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament in her right leg. After extensive research about the options before us, February 5, 2009 brought with it a TPLO surgery for Heisman – involved a cut through her leg bone, a plate, and 6 screws. Heisman began what we knew was going to be a long recovery – 8 weeks until bone healing, then 8 more weeks of extensive rehabilitation. About 3 weeks into the recovery period, we noticed a major regression in Heisman’s recovery progress. What had seemed like comfortable steps became limps, and a bump was visible over her plate site. A trip to the vet and blood cultures revealed that Heisman had MRSI over her plate – essentially her body rejecting the newly inserted material. As her mother, with little sleep on a twin air mattress with an 80 pound dog, I knew that our situation was serious, and that I didn’t know where to turn. The orthopedic surgeon recommended antibiotics, which we started immediately, but I am always the type who wants to thoroughly research every situation and ensure that I am doing everything I can for my dog. The Bella Moss Foundation was there for me every step of the way. From the latest and greatest homeopathic remedies to daily support and check ins, they were an invaluable source. They pointed me in the right direction, found an infection specialist in my area to contact and consult with our orthopedic surgeon, and allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Heisman’s road has not been an easy one, as the cruciate ligament in her left knee ruptured in early May, and led us down the path of a second knee surgery, but having support like the Bella Moss Foundation provides has been amazing and invaluable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do!
Carol – Haley

Carol – Haley

Jill and her organization was a wonderful source of information and provided a great support system for me. They provide information about MRSA and advice about what I should do to help fight the staff infection. My Veterinarian wasn't familiar with it either. Jill's organization provided another veterinarian for my Vet to speak with about recommended treatment for MRSA. I really appreciate all the support they provided to me and my Vet. I was able to beat the infection and my Westie, Haley, is doing great!
Susan – McRae

Susan – McRae

My son’s 7- month old Weimaraner, McRae, went in for surgery to repair two bone fractures following an accident. In the end, she contracted MRSA from the surgical facility. I can honestly say that there were to only two thing that saved her life: My ignorance of MRSA and the surgeon telling me that we would “wait and see if it cleared on its own.” Because I was in the dark about medication resistant staph, I reached out for help and fell into the net of support and knowledge provided by the Moss Foundation. Because the surgeon suggested that it might clear up on its own without intervention, I got angry. This new knowledge about he superbug and my anger led me self-empowerment, knowing that if my son’s dog was going to make it, I was essentially going to have to make some tough choices and quick decisions. After the conversations with a compounder to learn more about the two antibiotics that the culture indicated would kill the infection, I learned that McRae might not survive the cure. So my only option was a regime of nontraditional treatment. The Bella Moss provided me with so many ideas. Human doctors provided me with theories that reinforced the Foundation’s information. With my regime set up and highly flexible, I set to work and the abscess cleared and healed within a matter of two weeks. Following radiograms and a 3-month period of time to see if new abscesses developed, McRae has been given the “all clear” by my local vet who respects alternative cures. She is now back at home with my son who continues to give her natural supplements to support her immune system. In everything I did with McRae, I was supported by the Foundation and they continued to live into what became my mantra in reference to MRSA: “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus is drug resistant but not herb (or other nontraditional treatment) resistant.” McRae is alive today because I was forced to step outside of the pharmaceutical box. Thank you Jill and your MRSA counselors for helping me on my journey. It was frightening to take “the road less traveled” but I knew that I was never alone. I also must thank my son, Wit, for trusting and supporting me through this horrible phase in his and McRae’s lives.
Milt and Sue – Corky T

Milt and Sue – Corky T

Our beautiful Golden Retriever, Corky T. (for trouble and terrific) Miles suffered with allergies for most of his life. Although he took many pills everyday to manage these allergies along with biweekly injections, he never complained. Even when it was discovered he had cancer and had to undergo chemo, he continued to be sweet and wonderful. He was your typical Golden, sweet and loving. He loved his swimming pool and stuffed toys, which he was always willing to share with us. We loved him dearly and were rewarded tenfold by his love. This past January, he suffered a spontaneous pnemothorax. We rushed him to the emergency vet and they immediately put a tube in him to get the air out of his body cavity. Thanks to their quick thinking, it appeared that Corky was going to survive. After consulting several vets, including his oncologist and regular vet, it was decided to do surgery to remove the bula on his lung. The surgery went well, and after 3 days recovery, he returned home to us. At first he seemed to be on the road to recovery, but after a few days, he developed a fever and would not eat or drink. One of his vets even made a trip to our home to treat him, giving him fluids and increasing some of his pain killers. Again, he seemed to be getting better, only to have a repeated episode of fevers. When we took him to have his stitches removed, he seemed a little better, but when we mentioned to the surgeon that he just wasn't eating, he didn't seem too concerned and said he would probably start eating better once he felt better. After all he wasn't doing anything but lying around. Three days after that we finally took him to his regular vet who decided to keep him at his clinic each day, giving him fluids and antibiotics. This went on for a few days, and on the third day, an abscess that had been hiding behind a fatty tumor on his right rear leg exploded. The vet removed 2 cups of blood and other fluids along with discovering dying skin. He had this huge hole in him, big enough to stick your whole thumb into and he was unable to walk. We took him home and cared for him and returned the next day to the vet. Unfortunately, he was open for only half a day and it was suggested we return to the emergency vet so they could keep an eye on him. The emergency clinic again consulted with all our vets and we ended up taking Corky back to where he had had the surgery to consult with the surgeon and an oncologist. X rays were taken and finally an ultra sound was done. Corky had multiple nodules on many or his organs along with fluid in his lungs and around his heart. They felt for sure they would need to remove at least his spleen and maybe his leg. None of the doctors felt he could survive and after many tears, we decided to euthanize him; to stop what was now suffering. As anyone reading this knows, this is so very difficult to do but we loved him so and could not allow him to suffer any more. Three days later, we received the results from the lab report telling us that Corky had MRSA. Of course it was too late to do anything for him. Our vet said he had never had a case of MRSA in his clinic. The other vets we had seen were unaware of MRSA. The symptoms were all there but went undetected by vets. There is no way to know if Corky got MRSA during the surgery or while recovering in their clinic. He also could have had it all along on some of the sores he had on his groin as a result of his allergies. After Corky died, we were looking up MRSA on the internet and came across the Bella Moss Foundation. Through continuing professional development seminars for vets and nurses the Bella Moss Foundation has had a positive impact on what vets in Britain know about MRSA. Jill Moss is truly an inspiration. Hopefully, we can help the Foundation do something here in the US to have the same impact on our vets. I intend to do what I can to spread the knowledge about MRSA to vets and other doctors here. I welcome any help. There is much to do. It is our hope that our Corky, just as Bella, can help other animals avoid their fate and live long, happy lives.
Sue Baur – Dixon

Sue Baur – Dixon

Our 42-year-old daughter has had four rounds of chemotherapy in the past year and a half for a red blood cell disorder and she faces a future with more such treatments likely periodically. In May of last year, her three-year-old dog, Dixon, needed surgery on his hind leg for a torn ACL. Our daughter and Dixon live in the middle of a very large city, which would make recovery from such an operation difficult. We live in a place where he can go outside to a nice lawn by just walking out the front door, rather than having to make his way there from a 4th story apartment inside a city apartment building--and having nothing but sidewalks available once he got there. We agreed to have him come and have his operation here and live with us for an extended period of time while he recuperated. We expected to return him to our daughter sometime last August. However, during July, the operation site became infected, and the infection continued to just hang on throughout the next couple of months, despite his being treated with several rounds of antibiotics. We continued to keep Dixon with us, not wanting to return a sick dog to our daughter. Then, in mid-September, a new veterinarian saw Dixon, and right away she said we should have her remove the sutures from the original operation and culture the infection site; that there was some possibility that it would be MRSA. The culture came back positive for MRSA, but fortunately it was a type that was shown to respond well to clindamyacin, which he took for 30 days. Dixon seemed to have gotten rid of the infection, but we had by then read a lot of material about the seriousness of MRSA and the possibility that dogs and people could be MRSA carriers without having symptoms of the disease themselves. Although our new vet had enough knowledge about MRSA to know to test for it, she, nor the large veterinarian clinic where she is employed, were able to advise us as to whether or not Dixon was now completely MRSA-free and whether or not it would be safe to return him to our daughter, whose immune system has been compromised by chemotherapy. We looked on the internet and found many sites that told us how necessary it was to practice cleanliness, etc., to prevent the spread of MRSA, but we just couldn't seem to find out whether anyone thought it was advisable for Dixon to rejoin his mistress. In the meantime, the ACL on Dixon's other leg became torn, and we were referred to a specialist in a near-by city for an evaluation. We told the specialist about Dixon's recent recovery from MRSA, and she told us that they would see Dixon, but only by keeping him completely isolated from all the other animals there. When we got there, three staff members who were all suited up in protective clothing, gloves and masks came to evaluate him, outside the back door. We did discuss MRSA with this specialist, as well as Dixon's need for a second ACL operation. This specialist also was unable to tell us if there was any way to find out if Dixon was really cured from the MRSA and safe to be with our daughter. After that experience and all the reading we had done, we were pretty frightened into deciding that this dog did not belong with our daughter. We then contemplated the dismal alternatives, since we were unable to keep Dixon ourselves for a period of several years. We wondered if it would be possible to find a new owner willing to take him on, but somehow, that didn't seem to be a very promising prospect, since he now has had MRSA and two bad rear legs. Finally, in a follow-up phone conversation with the specialist we had seen, she mentioned that another of her customers had come in with a "MRSA dog" that week, and they told her about the Bella Moss Foundation. I visited the web site and was truly impressed with the information and credentials I found there. It was with great excitement that I wrote an e-mail requesting information about whether it would be safe to return Dixon to his owner, and it was with even greater excitement that I read Jill's almost immediate response, telling me that if his wound was indeed well-healed and if swabs taken from his nostril and anus tested to rule out his being a carrier, that we could consider it safe for our daughter to have her dog back. This was the first and only resource that we had found where someone seemed to know the answers to our questions. Then, when we went to our local vet to get the cultures done, she was uncertain about exactly how to conduct the test (should there be separate cultures from the two areas, or just one swab from the two areas combined?). Once again, I wrote back to Jill, and she then gave us the names of some vets in the United States that would be willing to consult with my vet. What a wonderful resource!! My local vet did call and get advice from one of the references, and was able to proceed with the testing, which came back negative. Based on all the good and reliable information we got from Bella Moss Foundation, we then felt confident in our decision to have the second torn ACL repaired, still keeping Dixon with us during a second extended recuperation period. Now it has been seven weeks since his surgery, and he has no sign of any infection and is healing well. We will take him back to his rightful owner this weekend, feeling confident that we are doing the right thing for both our daughter and Dixon. Thank you Jill so much for providing us and our vets with the information we needed to make a sensible, well-informed decision about this matter.  
June & Tony Walker – Emma

June & Tony Walker – Emma

Emma, our high spirited and beautiful 15 month old White German Shepherd girl got hit by a car after getting away from my husband on Friday 11th July, 2008. Initially, we thought she’d been lucky and the damage wasn’t too bad; she just seemed badly shaken and was holding her paw up, but we immediately rushed her to our vet’s for fear of internal damage. Our vet kept her in for xrays and observation. A few hours later, they phoned to let us know that, internally she was fine, however, her right paw was a mess: all of her metatarsal bones were broken, save one, which was dislocated and she had extensive soft tissue damage. We had two choices: amputation (they said they couldn't splint the bones because of the horrendous damage and the fact that they are weight-bearing) or referral to a top midlands orthopedic surgery. Foolishly, we aren't insured. They said treatment could amount to thousands of pounds, but although we have very little spare money, we love our animals, and so, for us, there was only ever one choice. Surgery: Emma had 3 plates and 15 pins inserted into her paw. They wanted the bandage to remain on and dry until at least the following Friday. Unfortunately, even though almost the whole leg was bandaged, they had left the tip of Emma’s damaged paw poking out, and so, due to the paw weeping heavily; the bandage did get damp through no fault of her own. It was weeping so profusely it soaked her bedding, and consequently, her bandage too. The vet said it was because Emma had been biting her paw, but how could they have allowed her to?. Post surgery the vets visited every day but made no comment, except to say that with the extensive soft tissue damage they could make no promises as to Em's fully recovering the use of her paw. Subsequently, we attended our vet's every two or three days for dressing changes. After a while she could weight bear but when the dressing came off the surgeon was clearly concerned and took a swab for analysis. The wound was not healing. The results came back as MRSA. I was distraught, all I could think was that I had to ring our vet and ask him to explain everything to me in layman's terms as soon as I got home from work; which he did. Months went by and despite numerous set-backs and trying several different types of antibiotic to find the best one to fight the particular strain of MRSA affecting Emma. Now, Emma does have an almost imperceptible lameness, but apart from that, she still has her paw, and runs around like the road-runner (but with a lot more control from us!) She had her culture test early January 2009 and proved negative as a sufferer or carrier of the MRSA and is attending regular hydrotherapy to try and get her to use her poorly paw fully again. (She was in bandages so long; I think she forgot she could!) My husband and I would like to say an enormous ‘THANK YOU’ to Jill Moss for all her help, invaluable guidance, advice, reassurance, encouragement and backing; Jill does an extraordinary job; she and her foundation help the ‘powerless’ victims of the terrible MRSA bug and empowers them with her boundless energy, understanding, sympathy and knowledge. To think that this amazing organization was borne from sorrow and the awful, unnecessary tragedy of the loss of the beautiful Bella is nothing short of a miracle. Others might have just cried and ‘licked their wounds’ but not Jill. How many people knew that animals could contract MRSA? I certainly didn’t. Jill has shone a powerful spotlight on this and brought it to the public awareness; the foundation helps so many in so many countless ways: victim support, owner support and morale, liaising with professionals in order to bring about more effective ‘battle strategies’ against the bug. She is a true inspiration. Crufts 2009 Emma was the star of the Bella Moss Foundation stand and showed everyone how animals can survive MRSA.
Fritzie Maddock – Bear

Fritzie Maddock – Bear

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 felt it was an oil gland cyst and advised warm compresses. After several weeks we felt it should be removed, and he had his teeth cleaned at the same time. The surgery, done in February, was more extensive than expected, as the cyst turned out to be deep, but after getting over severe post-op pain, Bear was doing fine. In April we noticed another cyst, small, along the suture line. Within a short time the cyst began to drain so the vet cultured it and found MRSA. In 30 years of practice he had never seen MRSA. The lab that did the culture recommended the treatment chloramphenicol. Bear managed this for about six days, but his tummy could not take the medicine. There were small "lump’s along the suture line but they seemed not to be causing a problem. He seemed fine, but during the summer he began to have intermittent pain for no apparent reason...he would just cry out, and go on his way. This continued on and off so we went to a vet who was skilled in more holistic treatments, and she did acupuncture along his spine, which helped the pain for maybe a day. We did not go back to this vet as she seemed not to have helped. We took Bear back to the original vet. Bear did well in the clinic, but every time I visited him he cried the whole time. It broke my heart, but I could not stand not to see him nearly every day. When we brought him home, we continued on this regimen of antibiotics for another three weeks. But about a month later the small lumps were back along the suture line, and the vet prescribed more of the SMP-TMZ liquid medicine. Several days after this Bear started crying out in pain on and off again, as he did back in the summer. This time 21 days of the same med did nothing for him. The pain did seem to lessen. I searched the internet for information and found the Bella Moss Foundation and emailed Jill. She was so helpful, and bless her heart, called me from England. She offered to send our vet the research information she had, and even to talk with him, but when I wrote him regarding this, he did not reply. He had by now told me he saw no reason to put Bear back in the clinic that basically his immune system was apparently not strong enough to throw off the infection. Cross infection human to animal concerns Jill helped me with my concerns about cross infection and the fear I had for our 5 yr. old great-grandchild, who is here a lot, and who loved to pet Bear. Bear had begun to have less of an appetite and was very poorly. We consulted the vet and had to make the decision to end his suffering and let him go as the antibiotics were not working and he was becoming weaker by the day. We felt all along that Bear contracted MRSA at that clinic at the time of his surgery. The vets were unaware of MRSA in dogs, did no biopsy the first cyst, or culture the suspected infected sites. Our hearts are broken; our home is so empty without our little Bear. I wish I might have discovered Jill and her charity sooner, and found a vet who might have wanted the help of the Foundation’s MRSA expert veterinarians. To all of you whose animals have recovered, I rejoice with you, and to those of you who have lost your beloved pet, I offer my deepest empathy.  
Ruth Reynolds – Libby

Ruth Reynolds – Libby

I have a little Bichon Frise called Libby who is nearly 10 years old so when she tore her crucial ligament and my vet advised an operation I was happy for it to go ahead as she had a crucial ligament operation 3 years previously which had been a great success. Libby had her operation on 28th October and seemed perfectly fine putting her leg to the ground and trying to walk however after about 3 days a clear liquid began oozing from her wound so I took her straight to the vet who diagnosed an infection and put her on a course of antibiotics for 10 days, the oozing stopped and Libby seemed fine but on examination the vet felt that the operation had not taken (because the infection had caused the fixing wire to stretch so when the swelling went down the joint was not stable enough) so thank God he decided to redo the operation and at that point he phoned me to say the actual joint was badly infected and they had sent off a swab for diagnosis as to what the infection was. Five days later the result came back and I nearly passed out when it was diagnosed as MRSA, Libby was prescribed the correct antibiotics to deal with the MRSA and was sent home. At that point I searched the internet for information and came across the 'Bella Moss Foundation' website who said you could e mail any queries, I sent off an e mail and received almost by return lots of information and answers to my specific questions, it was wonderful to be able to talk to someone who had experienced this situation and I was very appreciative that they would liaise with my vet if required. Libby finished her course of antibiotics and is absolutely fine now probably due to the fact that my vet had to redo the operation so the infection was found relatively quickly otherwise it may never have been found till it was took late. I have another Bichon Pepsi (Libby's mother) who is 12 years old and she is also fine and has not contacted any signs of MRSA so everything has turned out wonderfully. I would just like to thank Jill for her help and advice and wish the Foundation well for the future.
Leslie – Tipper

Leslie – Tipper

I have had dogs my entire life, and have loved each of them for their quirks and personality, companionship and friendship. However, my current dog Tipper is "that" dog. My first dog since moving out on my own, the first I train, feed and care for. Ask anyone; he is a ham, loves to show off, and is a joy to be around. He is one of those dogs that loves all people, all dogs, and most creatures (he isn’t a huge fan of squirrels). So when Tipper's nose seemed to be a little dry and cracked I took him to the vet, to find out what was going on. That appointment in May of 08 was the first of so many, and it seemed that few people had answers. It could be staph, it could be lupus, it could be a compromised immune system, and it could be MRSA. His nose was getting worse, but he still seemed to be holding his own. We were going through rounds of antibiotics and prednisone. Then it got worse, a lot worse. While on antibiotics, his neck and chest broke out with a huge staff infection while I was out of town. My brother had taken him to his vet, who prescribed more antibiotics and more prednisone. Tipper was getting tired and didn’t want to go out as much. I was scared. Then the skin on his muzzle got infected and a huge sore grew there. In addition to the vet, I also turned to the internet and searched for information on staph, MRSA, nutrition, etc etc. I found a comment on a forum from Jill Moss, she listed her email and phone. Who does that in this day and age? I sent her an email and within hours I had a response. She put me in contact with Kim Bloomer a homeopathic vet and sent me huge amounts of information on what I could do for Tipper. She even called my vet (we are in the US) and discussed the issue with him. Tipper has since had MRSA ruled out and has been diagnosed with mucocutaneos pyoderma and it is currently in remission. He will continue on a staph vaccination and I will continue to work with him on a homeopathic level. I can’t say enough about the support, information and help that I have gotten from Jill and the Bella Moss Foundation. They have educated me, listened to me, and helped me get through what is going to be a chronic illness with my dog. When I was freaking out and cleaning my house twice a day to "kill the staph" Jill and her friends talked me down. When I didn’t know what to do for the infection they recommended Manuka honey (which is the most amazing stuff I have ever seen). And when MRSA was ruled out, they celebrated with me. Tipper and I can not thank them enough for their kindness and help.

Kathleen – Makena

My dog Makena is 10 years old and has always been my little buddy who always seemed to bring joy into my life. She had been sick for some time with a weird discharge from her nose and had been in and out of the vets office multiple times and we still could not get a grasp on what was wrong. She underwent a few light surgeries and seemed to develop new problems which were very puzzling. My vet at that time was stumped. I decided that I would need to find a new vet and do some research on my own. My new vet diagnosed her with MRSA and he treated her with multiple antibiotics. I immediately went home and researched MRSA on the internet and found Bella Moss Foundation. Jill and Lori have been exceptionally helpful and so caring. I don't know that I done through this without their support. Every time I thought I was hitting a wall Lori and Jill had a new great idea to help me. Makena did finally get over her MRSA and I think the only way she did this was with the guidance I received from Lori and Jill. Thank you Bella Moss Foundation for all your help, love and care - you are amazing!!
Cathy Conner – Chloe

Cathy Conner – Chloe

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 the doctor. He said she most likely had a staph aeureus aeureus infection he took a culture (March 28th, 2008) and put her on anti-biotics. When I got home that day I started researching MRSA and came across an article ’Cat and Woman Share SUPERBUG!' After reading it I wondered about our cat (Chloe) who had been having problems (skin lesions) for about a month on her behind. The vet, after a couple visits still wasn't sure what the problem was as the treatments they had tried were not helping. So I called and the next day they cultured our cat. (March 29th, 2008) On March 30th we found that our daughter was confirmed with MRSA, by this time she had a hole in her arm the size of a silver dollar that was 1/2 inch deep. We put our cat in a kennel in a spare room to keep her quarantined until we knew if she also had the bacteria. (As we were still waiting for culture results) I began searching for cases where animals had this MRSA and found the Bella Moss Foundation. Jill and her USA representative Lori were wonderful with all their support and recommendations on how to go about making my cat better and comfortable. Jill and Lori spent hours discussing with me food that would be easier for Chloe to digest and we also considered as a team way’s to help boost Chloe’s immune system. I found a product for our daughter that helped kill the bacteria and start the healing process. As this worked for her so well, I contacted the Staphwash Company and was told that there was a product made specifically for animals with this MRSA bacteria. We got the product, applied it; and within hours it had improved dramatically. Within a month; all signs of infection were gone. Both our cat and daughter are MRSA free at this time, and show no signs of any re-occurrence. I saw 1st hand how fast MRSA develops and how serious it can become in a matter of a few days. Thank Goodness for the Bella Moss Foundation willing to lend a hand with advice and/or information and support that is very much helpful in fighting these HORRIBLE bacteria.

Andie Irwin and Cooper – Cooper

When my dog Cooper was diagnosed with MRSA last summer, the first thing I did was get on the internet to find out as much as I could. I had never heard of a dog contracting MRSA, but I thought that with the help of the internet I would be able to find a wealth of information. I was wrong. There is only one website I could find that had any information on MRSA in pets. The Bella Moss Foundation. No one knows how Cooper contracted MRSA. He had been treated for 'idiopathic' staph infections for over three years, one series of antibiotics after another. Finally, in July of 2007, my vet took a skin culture and sent it to Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital. The results came back positive for the human strain of MRSA. Cooper did not get this from me, as my family has been tested and we are all negative. Where would he get it? Who knows? The reasonable conclusion would be he got it from a vet's office. (we had changed vets as we thought his previous one was not very professional.) When questioned, Cooper's vet said in all of her years of practicing she had never seen a case of MRSA. Neither had any of the other vets in the practice. Neither had anyone else I spoke to on the subject. I would mention it, and people would look at me like I was from Mars. So, Jill...............after what I went through with Cooper, I can imagine the pain, anger and frustration you went through with Bella. I found you...........you had no-one. There aren't any words to express the sadness I feel at your loss of Bella, and the gratitude I feel for your determination to help other pets and the people who love them. You are a perfect example of someone who has taken a really heartbreaking situation and turned it around for a good purpose. Cooper is well now, and I will be eternally grateful for all of your help and support. I can't thank you enough. I look forward to the success of the Foundation in disseminating information on MRSA and other infectious (and totally preventable) diseases in animals. It is vital that the veterinary profession, kennels, groomers, pet stores, breeders and anyone else involved with animals, including the general public, be educated about this growing threat.

Sarah

Our rabbit got mrsa after surgery on her tummy. My mummy did not know about it and I found the Bella Moss Foundation at my school website. I did a project on how sick my bunny was and my teacher asked me to give her the information so she could let my school know about mrsa in animals. Jill came to our school and gave a talk, she helped our vets to learn more and gave my mum and dad so much support. Bunky is now well and I give my pocket money to the Bella Moss Foundation, every week I get £5.00 and I give £1.00 for sick animals. When I grow up I am going to help Jill with her job, and because of her and the foundation I now want to be a vet.

Margaret McNicholl

My husband contracted MRSA, 3weeks following hip replacement surgery on August 28th. When we took him to the hospital we left some soiled bandages on the couch. When I came home after he was admitted the soiled bandages were chewed up and scattered all over the house. We have two Dalmatians. Baxter is 9 and Cinnamon is 8. I did a google search and looked to see if MRSA could be spread to dogs from people. In addition to finding some web sites indicating transmission was possible, I found the Bella Moss Foundation site and started talking to Jill Moss. She gave me excellent advise and I took both dogs to the vet, indicating they might be contagious. A week later Cinnamon came back as positive but the other dog was negative. A week later Baxter was sick, but Cinnamon remained health but testing positive for MRSA. Both dogs were given multiple antibiotics. Eventually Cinnamon cleared and Baxter cleared after Cinnamon as given gentramycine intranasally. My home was professionally disinfected and parts were remodeled. My husband is awaiting surgery to replace his hip. As far as I can determine this is the first case of human to dog transmission from soiled bandages.

Carol Fisher – Flash

Flash - March 14, 2000 - November 7, 2006 Flash was born in 2000. He was neutered at age 2 and has had urinary tract problems ever since. He may have even contracted MRSA at this surgery because I remember him taking a lot of antibiotics for a hard to cure bacterial infection (my vet’s words). When we went on vacation in September he seemed fine. The day after we got home, September 25 2006, he could not pee. This never happened before. We took him to the vet and they said he had bladder stones and that he had to have surgery to save his life. Also, the surgery that he had to have was called an urethrostomy. They completely rerouted his urinary tract. I have been going to for 20+ years and trusted the vets completely. Two days after his surgery, he started bleeding profusely through this new opening after urinating. MY vet was away. We took Flash to another hospital and this vet put him on Rimadyl and the bleeding stopped after one day. She said he probably was just inflamed. A week or so went back and Flash was not able to pee again. Back to his regular vet and they catherized him and said he still had some post-op swelling then again he was ok for a few days. Then, not able to pee again. He began this routine of just lying around and panting all of the time. I asked the vet about the panting and he said that he was just anxious. This went on for several weeks, we took him and had to have him catherized to get him to pee. After a while I noticed that his eyes were turning yellow and he was running a fever. At this point, I asked our vet to sign a release so that we could take him to the Virginia Tech Teaching Animal Hospital. He spoke with them on the phone and they recommended that a sterile urine culture be taken first. We took Flash in the first thing the next morning and they drew urine out of his bladder with a syringe and sent it off for testing. The next day, Flash wasn't able to pee again. They said to bring him in and they would put him on a liquid drip and catherize him again. That night we went to visit him at the vet hospital was the last time. Flash died in the middle of the night. Two days after he died, the culture came back positive for MRSA. My Flash is gone after six weeks of uncalled for suffering and after only living for six short years. He was the absolute best dog. He was a beautiful dog. He was a graduate of obedient school and was the most intelligent dog I had ever had. He also very loved. He would kiss and kiss you. He was also the most playful dog I ever had. He was always bringing his toys to you for you to play with him. Everyone loved him who met him and that was because he loved everyone he met. He was so special. I found out about the Bella Moss Foundation over the internet while I was researching MRSA in pets. Jill was so very nice to me and let me tell her about my Flash and let me cry. MRSA is a horrible way for pets to go and I truly hope that the foundation in time can stop this senseless dying.

Tracy & Family – Judge

Thankfully I was recommended to Jill and the Bella Moss Foundation through Yvonne the puppy trainer that was helping me with my Great Dane, called Judge. Judge has been with my family since he was 8 weeks old. January 1st 2007 he was running chasing a ball and suddenly went lame. The vet told us he had a ruptured and had severed his cruciate ligament in both his hind legs but the left leg was more severe. They recommended 2 hospitals both had a waiting time of 4 weeks plus. So we decided to take the first appointment. We were advised to go ahead straight away with a TPLO and that Judge would stay in the vet 3 days and then come home and rest and recover. It did not turn out this way. Judge was not ready for me to collect for 1 week as his wound was still bleeding, which I was told, was nothing to worry about. Finally, I collected him and bought him home the kids were very excited to see him and kissed and cuddled him. I noticed within a couple of hours of being home his wound did not seem correct to me and went straight to my local vet to have him assessed. They decided to put staple stitches in to close the wound. A few hours later I was not convinced as the wound was not clear and I drove straight back to where he had the operation. I was told they would keep him in and do blood tests and put a drain in his leg, as there seemed to be a lump of fluid there. It took 5 days to get the results back when I was told MRSA! I was in shock as had only heard of this in hospitals for humans and knew that if bad could lead to death. I rang Yvonne who put me straight on to Jill. Jill was a mind of information comforting and calming me down, and telling me what information I needed to know from the vet. Jill also told me what procedures needed to be carried out to get the MRSA under control. After many weeks of antibiotic beads placed back inside the leg and constant drainage Judge came home. We nursed him and monitored him with sterile gloves until it had been 16 weeks since the operation when we finally could take out all the metal plates and check there was no MRSA there. It was a long 6 months for Judge to fully recover and thanks to Jill and the Bella Moss Foundation with all their support of emails and telephone calls kept us strong and now Judge is over the worst. Thanks Tracey and family x London

Lor Fogler – Mr Beebs

Mr Beebs had a torn ACL. I had heard that this new procedure called a TPLO would be a permanent solution to our problems. Expensive but nothing was too much for my Mr Beebs.I decided to meet with the surgeon who explained the procedure but never mentioned any complications that might ensue. It sounded wonderful. We went in on 06/06/06. I should have known it would turn out bad. They kept Beebs in there for several days and finally I was able to take him home to recoup and get that back leg working well again. He had to be leashed walked everywhere...and I mean everywhere including inside the house for 8 weeks. About ten days into this I noticed a serum oozing out of his incision. It was hot to the touch and the dog was lethargic and moody. I looked closer and a track opened up in that incision sight and reddish brown smelly serum came flowing out of it. I took him quickly back to the surgeon. He said it was the tissue rubbing against the metal plate and that was normal and nothing to be alarmed about. The next week the oozing got even more foul smelling. One week before I was too leave the dog was prostrate on the ground, unable to stand and had the glazed look of pain in his eyes. I was hysterical. I called the surgeon once again. It was no use his return call never came. I asked a vet tech friend of mine to come over. She took one look and said he is suffering get him to the emergency hospital now. Mr Beebs was in the week before the surgeon had ordered a culture and sensitively report. I don't think he ever read it because he kept us on a treatment program that was useless in the face of the results. We kept on the anti biotic's he had prescribed although they didn't seem to be doing any good at all. Finally. I called my regular vet who was deeply concerned and took the dog into the hospital where he was sedated and a deep culture taken. What came back changed our world. It was enterobacter cloacae. It was resistant to just about everything .The vet called the lab back and begged them to give me some hope...after all there must be something that can kill it. I had to inject his muscle with a 25 gauge needle which horrified me. It was an inch and a half long and tapered and thick time. What if I did it wrong? I thought. 4 months later and I was now finding it harder and harder to even find a muscle not so calcified that I could penetrate it with a needle. I had to look for other places near his neck, on his rump. I was studying anatomy charts to make sure I knew where it was safest. I couldn't bring him to the vet’s office 3 times a day...I had to do it myself. The drug cost me $800.00 per ten days of use. After about 2 solid weeks of injections ....The wound started closing I was so happy...we were killing it! But....as soon as the injections stopped (with in 5 days) the track in his incision opened up and globs of thick smelly pus oozed out of his leg. I then was told by my vet to take a needle nose syringe fill it with an antiseptic solution and every 4 hours blast it up into the track and flush the debris from the leg. It was a horrendous job and the stuff was flying everywhere. Because Scar tissue had formed at the site and the plate and screws were the best hiding place a bacteria could ever ask for. I had no idea the nightmare I had stepped into. There was never any hope of saving that leg. I know that now. The plate broke 6 months after it was put in. A week before Christmas 2006, 2 screws broke off into the bone and were never able to be removed. The leg was in shambles and so was I. Mr Beebs has had 13 surgeries ...none of which did much good at all. The bacteria had colonized in the screw holes and there was no blood supply to the bone so they continued to wreak havoc on the leg. It was eating its way through his leg. My last ditch attempt came back in May of 2007. I drove for 2 days to the University of Georgia to meet the team who were doing beading implants for super bugs and osteomilistus. The surgeon had placed a hybrid fixator on his leg which held the bone together by big bolts that went right through his leg. I had to clean around the bolts and screws every single day 3 times a day to keep more infection from getting into the holes. I had to pad the sharp edges that were pointed enough to rip upholstery and clothing on contact. If it hit his skin it would rip into it. I had bolts of cotton I stuffed in there to protect him. I had cotton swabs full of antiseptic I would swirl around the open holes in his flesh and bones. The drug that they had implanted was so powerful that the only way you can use it is with permission from the CDC (Center for disease control). After ten days the beads were removed and beads made of imipenam cilastastin were implanted. I stopped all the shots and held my breath a year plus has passed and I was $50,000. out in expenses and no closer to salvation. With in five days the incision opened up and began to drain. I knew I had lost. The battle was over. I had done all science could offer and I could not kill the bacteria and save his leg. I finally gave permission to amputate. I saw Mr Beebs walking away into the hospital to have his leg that had only had a torn ligament cut away from him forever. I had brought Mr Beebs in to help him but instead had brought so much suffering into his life. Today he has 3 legs and I'd like to say it’s been just terrific but that would be a lie. He wobbles and falls and I carry him everywhere. Up and down stairs in the truck. Massage him, give him injections. I have done everything I can and it seems my best isn't good enough. The moral of the story ASK QUESTIONS TO YOUR VET. The Bella Moss Foundation is a place for pet owners to find support and advice about infections in animals – take this information and challenge your vets.

Fiona Martin – Sally

Sally is the most beautiful, kind, intelligent and loving dog that you could ever wish to meet, truly exceptional. Sally had an operation at the start of September 2007 to remove wires from her chest. This was done because following her initial heart surgery two and a half years previously, she had big scabs all down her sternum where the wires were, and we thought they were irritating her skin. In September when she had the sternum wires removed, they were sent to be cultured and we found out she had MRSA. By this point, her stitches had been taken out and the wound under her chest had completely opened up To date Sally has had pretty much every antibiotic there is, but the bacteria just becomes resistant to them very quickly and she has three openings under her chest which are discharging. Swab results keep coming back as ‘no growth’ and sterile, yet there is plently of yucky discharge, so we are all a bit confused at the moment, and about to give Manuka Honey a try. Without a swab analysis showing the current bacteria, we are unable to see if there are any other antibiotics to try. It is suspected that the MRSA might be in the bone of her sternum, and therefore not shifting. Sally is well in herself, though with no walks or life for four months, bandaged every other day, and a big cone on her head for four months, her resilience and strength is incredible. Jill has been a constant source of support, and has a really fantastic network of contacts. There have been many times when I have been freaked out and frustrated by this, and Jill has been a god send. We’ll continue to work together and do everything we can to get Sally well. It’s been going on a terribly long time!!

Tell us your Story

What we can do is to offer you support and answer any questions that you have and if your vet would like to talk with our expert vets all we need is your vets contact details and we can put them in touch to discuss the clinical management of your pet (or family member). There is no charge as we are a charity and our clinical advisors freely donate their time to help us save lives. We do request that if you would like this help that you fill in our form directly from our website click here

or email it to info@thebellamossfoundation.com

All about infections

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MRSA in Farm Animals

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