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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 resolve themselves without that, but there have been increasing numbers of bacteria that are much more difficult to treat because they are able to resist different types of antibiotics. Therefore, when an infection is suspected it is important to identify the risk it poses and, if significant, the nature of the infection and the drug-sensitivity of involved bacteria. Whilst it may be convenient to use the first broad-spectrum antibiotic that comes to hand, there is real benefit to giving proper consideration to the specific characteristics of the bacteria involved as well as the health status of the people around a pet. It is recommended that infections are analysed by a laboratory to ensure that the correct antibiotic is given. Always discuss the use of antibiotics with your vet.

Treatment will vary depending on factors such as the type of infection, what stage the infection is at and also the species of animal being treated. Once it has been established what infection is present, it will be tested to see what antibiotics will be effective and a course is given.

Whichever course of antibiotics is chosen for your animal, it is imperative that the guidelines for taking them are followed correctly and the course is completed. This is because low levels of bacteria may still be present which would be capable of multiplying again if the course is stopped early.

There are guidelines available for the treatment of small animals, such as those by Dr. Tim Nuttall (University of Liverpool) who acts as an advisor for The Bella Moss Foundation. However for other species such as horses there are few guidelines that are widely available for practitioners. The Bella Moss Foundation is seeking to change this so that there is information for available for all species practitioners are likely to treat. This is important due to differences in the types of MRSA from species to species. For example there are many MRSA strains in horses that have a different resistance profile to that of pet MRSA.

 

Did you know...

A small proportion of the human population carry MRSA without knowing it and without any ill-effects.

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