Treating MRSA Pneumonia in Dogs With Vancomycin

Treating MRSA, or MRSA pneumonia, in dogs can be an arduous process. MRSA is a staph bacteria that is resistant to many forms of traditional antibiotics and must be treated with alternative medications such as vancomyocin. Here's what you should know about MRSA symptoms and treatment for proper infection control.

MRSA Infection Is Dangerous

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections can be deadly if left untreated. MRSA is dangerous because it is a staph infection that has grown resistant to the antibiotic drugs used against it, leading to staph pneumonia. There are only a limited number of drugs that can be used against the infection. These drugs must be used in such high quantities that the dosages themselves can be dangerous.

Your dog can become infected with MRSA bacteria easily. A wound or a debilitating illness, combined with exposure to the bacteria, can allow MRSA to enter your dog's body. Once your dog's become infected with MRSA, the staph can enter his bloodstream. From there is can move around the body and settle in any location.

Symptoms of MRSA Infection in Canines

Staph bacteria are the most common cause of skin disorders in dogs. MRSA bacteria causes a red, inflamed area that has an acne-like bump in the middle. These lesions may be crusty in appearance, especially on the dog's belly. The infected area may itch.

If the infection is quite severe, wound draining may occur. Pus may drain from the wound, and cause matting in the fur around the wound. This can contribute to the crusty appearance of skin lesions. Hair loss may occur as well, especially around the wound where your dog is most likely to bite and scratch.

In some cases, MRSA can be at the root of bacterial pneumonia. This occurs when the bacteria becomes airborne.

Prevention and Treatment of MRSA Infection

Treating MRSA can be very difficult because the bacteria are resistant to many antibiotic drugs. Preventing infection can be crucial to sparing your dog this deadly illness.

Hygiene is key to preventing MRSA infection. Keep any wounds or lesions clean with a good antiseptic cleanser. Examine your dog daily to make sure he hasn't suffered any new wounds. Be especially vigilant if your dog suffers from any skin conditions.

If your dog undergoes surgery, bathe your dog beforehand with an antibacterial soap, especially where the incision will be made. Keep the wound clean after he comes home, and keep an eye on it to make sure it's healing properly.

If your dog does become infected with MRSA, you'll need to practice infection control, as he can infect other dogs and even humans. Use rubber gloves and sanitize anything with which your infected dog has contact. Keep your infected dog isolated.

Your vet will probably prescribe vancomycin for the treatment of MRSA infection and pneumonia. The treatment process can be quite long and can involve injections as well as oral and topical medication. Vancomycin and the other powerful anitbiotics used in treating MRSA can make your dog ill, so it's important to monitor him closely during the treatment process. Be sure to finish all prescriptions to minimize the risk of reinfection.