Staph Infection in Dogs

Staph Infection in Dogs
Is staph infection in dogs contagious? Well, generally, it has been found that humans and other pets do not get staph infection, however, it is always wise to take some precautions; and to take these precautions one has to be well-versed with the basics of this condition.
DogAppy Staff
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Dogs are quite sensitive to infections and that may result from bacteria, viruses, parasites or dog allergy towards certain substances. Staph infection which is caused by bacteria belonging to genus Staphylococcus, is one such bacterial infection which is fast emerging as a major skin disease in canines.

Causes
The probable causes of the staph infection in canines are known to be the following
  • Allergies to the dog, from food and dust contact or dog fleas.
  • Emotional stress due to poor dog care.
  • Poor immune system due to unhealthy diet or a weak immune system in dogs.
  • Hypothyroidism or other hormonal problems.
  • A poor health record.
Symptoms
The symptoms of staph infection in dogs are as follows.
  • Red and ulcerated skin
  • The trunk is the most affected part of the dog's body. They may show crusty and hard skin lesion in the belly area.
  • Severe rashes on the skin, in the advanced stages.
  • The chin, nose and feet are commonly affected areas that may develop rashes.
  • Blisters filled with pus and blisters filled with blood are commonly observed.
  • Scaling and discolored spots on the skin.
  • Lethargy and sluggishness in dog behavior.
  • Hair loss at a rapid rate.
Diagnosis
The diagnosis of canine staph infection involves studying the history of the dog's health and earlier skin infections. A complete physical examination is essential in order to investigate all parts of the body, where the skin rashes and other symptoms may exist. The veterinarian can take tests such as skin scrapping and complete blood counts (CBCs), while allergy testing methods can help to diagnose the possible causes.

Generally, microscopic tests of the cell can help the veterinarian to differentiate between the bacterial or fungal infection and give a better understanding of the disease. An intact pustule can be very helpful in knowing the exact cause and hence the treatment for the infection. Another technique that is considered to be fruitful, is the skin biopsy. In the skin biopsy, removal and deep examination of the skin tissue is performed. Refer to a veterinarian, before giving your dog any medication on your own, especially without any prior experience of handling a diseased dog. After all, your pet's dog health is of utmost importance.

Treatment
In most of the cases, the dog is usually given medication on the advise of the veterinarian. The initial measures involve the removal of the hair from the parts that have skin lesions or rashes. Removing hair helps in applying ointments and other creams, that are helpful in improving the condition of the skin. The veterinarian will suggest certain antibiotics that can help to provide relief to the dog, from the skin inflammation and rashes. However, not all antibiotics can be useful, consult the veterinarian before you rush to visit the nearest vet shop. Cleanliness itself is a primary criteria for the treatment of your dog. Wash your dog with shampoos that are specifically meant for the purpose of treating skin infections. Regularly wash your dog when it is under the treatment process, by using antibiotic shampoos like benzoyl peroxide. Apply bandages on the parts of the dog that show wounds or on the scratches that have been formed due to blisters. Don't forget to use antiseptic creams.

Skin staph infection in dogs can occur if there is negligence on the part of the pet owner. So, make sure you keep the area or the dog kennel, where your dog stays, clean and hygienic. During the treatment period, it is advised to keep the dog in a separate area, so that it doesn't affect other animals. Taking proper dog care is essential and regular visits to the veterinarian are even more important. Since staph infection can occur at any age of the canine animal, it is essential for the pet owner to be vigilant and take their animal for medical checkups at least twice a year.
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