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


a pathogen – also termed disease organism – that is identified as part of the infectious cycle


A substance, for example penicillin, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. They do not work on viruses.

Antibiotic Resistance;

denotes a characteristic or quality  of strains of bacteria that enables them to survive the action of an antibiotic or antimicrobial drug.


any substance, including antibiotics, that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms


a topical substance which inhibits the growth and development of microorganisms either through its action as a bacteriocidal or bacteriostatic.


Preventing infection by inhibiting the growth or action of bacteria.


Inhibiting growth and reproduction of bacteria.


a one-celled pathogen which can survive either as a free-living organism or as a parasite. Many are beneficial but some can cause diseases. (plural– bacteria).

Bone infections;

for example, osteomyelitis in which infectious organisms like bacteria have entered and multiplied in a bone.


abbreviation of Community Acquired Infection.


The dog family, which includes dogs, jackals, wolves and foxes.

Carriage (of bacteria);

the presence of particular bacteria on an individual.

Colonisation (by bacteria);

persistent carriage of organisms on the skin or mucosal surfaces without infection.

Commensal bacteria;

normally harmless bacteria that help an individual digest foods and acquire nutrients. Commensal bacteria live as part of the normal population of organisms found in and on an undividual.

Community Acquired Infection;

An infection acquired outside of a hospital or health environment.


A process, usually using topical antimicrobial substances, to eliminate bacteria from the skin or mucosal surfaces of an individual.

deoxyribonucleic acid;

 contains the genetic ‘instructions’ used in the development and function of all living organisms.

Disease Organism;

a pathogen – also termed agent – that is identified as part of the infectious cycle


the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid


The cat family, which includes lions, tigers, jaguars and domestic cats.

First Tier Antibiotics;

include older antibacterials and/or narrow-spectrum drugs such as simple penicillins, tetracyclines, and sulfonamides. .


A large group of non-flowering plants that include mould and yeasts as well as mushrooms and toadstools.


abbreviation of Hospital Acquired infection (also known as noscomial infections).

Helpful Bacteria;

work with bodily systems, not against them; for example, Lactobacillus acidophilus help the digestive system work efficiently.

Hospital-Acquired Infections;

(see noscomial infections)

Immune system;

The processes and responses within an individual that resist infection or other illness.

Infectious Cycle;

the six commonly accepted factors that lead to infections disease and cnsisting of a disease organism or agent; a reservoir; a means of escape; a mode of transfer, and a  mode of entry into into a susceptible host


abnormal lack of energy usually as a result of illness or disease.

Licensed For Use;

all animal medicines require official authorisations before they can be marketed in  the UK. These licenses can only be provided when information that shows the medicine is effective and safe is approved by experts.

Living host;

pets and people can be reservoirs for infectious agents and are called ‘living hosts’. For example, dogs can be a living host of a form of tapeworm that can be transmitted to people.

Lymphatic system;

major component of the immune system, it consists of a network of (lymph) vessels and (lymph) nodes that remove fluid and particles such as bacteria from tissue, filters this fluid and returns it to the blood system.

Means of Escape;

the opportunity and mechanism by which a bacterium is able to leave its reservoir.

Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus;

a group of strains of the bacteria family Staphylococcus Aureus that resist the actions of the beta-lactam antibiotics., These  include the penicillins (meticillin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin etc.) and the cephalosporins.

Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius

a group of strains of the bacteria family Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius that resist the actions of the beta-lactam antibiotics., These  include the penicillins (meticillin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin etc.) and the cephalosporins.


organisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye and include bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Mode of Entry;

the means and route by which a bacterium enters an individual where it is ab;le to multiply.

Mode of Transfer;

the means by which a bacterium travels from its reservoire to another site or location.


an abbreviation of ‘meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus’.


an abbreviation of meticillin-resistant staphylococcus pseudintermedius


relating to the nose.

Noscomial infections;

also called hospital-acquired infection (HAI); an infection whose development is favoured by a hospital environment, i.e. one acquired by a patient during a hospital visit or one developing among hospital staff. Such infections include fungal and bacterial infections and are aggravated by the reduced resistance of individual patients.


any living thing; in this sense meant as a microscopic organism (microorganisms)


inflammation of the bone and its marrow contents regardless of the cause, which can be either bacterial or fungal It is a serious condition that can be difficult to treat successfully.


an animal or plant that lives in or on another animal or plant and from which it directly gets its nutrients.


a contagious virus that affects dogs, causing diarrhoea although it can also affect the heart. There are vaccinations that can prevent this serious disease.


a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host


a group of antibiotics produced naturally by some blue moulds but whcih are commercially produced synthetically. Penicillin was discovered in 1928.


inflammation of the lungs caused by bacteria and viruses.

Protein shell;

a protective layer enclosing a virus that protects its genetic material.


a location of multiplying bacteria or other pathogens. 

Resistant bacteria;

strains of bacteria that enables them to survive the action of an antibiotic or antimicrobial drug.

Ribonucleic Acid;

 a constituent of all living cells and many viruses,


abbreviation of ‘resistant bacteria‘.


abbreviation of ‘Ribonucleic acid‘.

Second Tier Antibotics;

include newer, broad-spectrum products that are more important for humans and animals and/or more prone to resistance (e.g. broad-spectrum beta-lactamase resistant penicillins, cephalosporins and macrolides).

Secondary Bacterial Infection;

an infection that occurs as a consequence of, or subsequent to, another infection. for example, an initial mild infection of a dog’s chest with a virus could be made worse by a secondary invasion of bacteria.


the vulnberability of a pathogen to the drugs that are desinged or rpescribed to treat it.


(also termed systemic infection) applies to a condition when a pathogen is distributed throughout the body rather than being concentrated in one area with the result that the symptoms spread to the whole of the body (i.e they become ‘systemic) Bacterial toxin is the major reason that leads to systemic infection.

Staphyloccus aureus

is a strain of the staphyloccus bacteria that appears round and clustered under the microdscope. It is commonly found on the skin and mucosal surfaces of humans and is responsible fo rmost of the skin infections that occur in people. Although it is well suited to humans, it is perfectly capable of colonising and invading the tissues of all species of animals.

Staphyloccus pseudintermedius

is a strain of the staphyloccus bacteria that tend to colonise dogs. Resistance to a range of antimicrobials has been detected and the bacteria is capable of colonising and invading the tissues of other animals including humans.

Susceptible Host;

an individual particularly vulnerable to  infection because of impairment of the immune system from cause.


 a group of broad spectrum antibiotics.

Third Tier Antibiotics;

those very important to humans and animals (e.g. fluoroquinolones, anti-Pseudomonas penicillins, ceftazidime, imipenem etc.).

Transient colonisation;

 short-term or temporary carriage of organisms on the skin or mucosal surfaces without infection, usually as the result of limited exposure.

Upper Respiratory System;

 consists of the nose, throat and windpipe (trachea).


A non-cellular infective agent that only reproduces inside a host’s cell.

White Blood Cells;

 White blood cells comprise on part of the body’s immune system.


View more

All about infections



What are MRSP and Staphylococcus pseudintermedius? Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a bacterium that is commonly found on the skin or in the nose or intestinal tract of 50% of more of [&hellip



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


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

Firstly i must say how sorry i was to read Bella’s story, until Monday the 21st March i was totally unaware that this but was contractable by pets (ignorant i [&hellip

Graham Marriott

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 [&hellip

Andie Irwin and Cooper – Cooper

View more

Corporate Supporters

Educational Partners

Media Supporters