Is Canine Staph Infection Contagious?

Many pet owners ask whether the staph infection is contagious especially when their pet is affected by this disease or when there are infected dogs around the pet. The infection is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria and may be easily treated once detected; however, prevention is always better than treatment.

Staph Infection Is Contagious to Pets

The staph infection is a skin infection that may be transmitted from a carrier pet to a healthy one.

It’s important to identify the infection as soon as it occurs and prevent the infection of other dogs. The infection may not always be correctly diagnosed, as the symptoms may be mistaken for other common skin infections and this may lead to the infection of other pets.

Pets that are taken to shelters or daycare facilities are exposed to contracting the staph infection, as the bacteria may also be present in the surroundings of the dog.

The Infection May Be Transmitted to Humans

The staph infection is a zoonotic disease and this means that it may be transmitted from the dog to humans. The infection is also possible if you are affected by the infection and pass on the bacteria to your pet.

If you suspect your pet may have the staph infection, you will have to wear gloves when playing with him or while you groom him. The signs of a staph infection include:

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Blisters
  • Skin lesions
  • Hair falling out
  • Discolored skin
  • Crusty skin

Make sure you clean the dog’s sleeping area and the house as well. Get immediate treatment and repeat the cleaning after the infection is gone, to make sure the dog’s environment is staphylococcus bacteria free and there is no risk of you or your pet to get infected.

How Long Is the Infection Contagious

The time during which the staph infection is contagious is variable and may depend on factors such as:

  • The time when the infection began; the diagnosis may happen only weeks after the dog has been infected
  • The severity of the infection

Typically, the infection is contagious until the treatment is administered. The treatment may consist of antibiotics and cortisone cream; in severe cases, oral treatment will also be prescribed.

Even if your dog shows signs of improvement and fewer or no symptoms, this is not a sign that he is completely cured and the infection is no longer contagious. Make sure you handle the dog with gloves until the treatment is finished and the vet confirms the bacteria are eliminated.

Means of Transmission of a Staph Infection

The staphylococcus bacteria can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog. The bacteria may also be found in the soil, water or sand, so it may also be contracted from these.

There may also be some contaminated objects such as the dog’s toys and bedding, so these should be disinfected or replaced. The staphylococcus bacteria may be eliminated with bleach.