Staph Infection Treatment in Dogs

Staph infection treatment in dogs will focus on removing the symptoms and the bacteria causing the condition. The staph infection will manifest mainly on the skin and is due to the bacteria known as staphylococcus. The infection is uncomplicated to treat, but pets that have other health issues may need a more complex type of treatment.

Reducing Staph Infection Symptoms

Staph infection in dogs will present symptoms such as:

  • Red skin
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin lesions
  • Blisters
  • Hair loss in patches
  • Skin depigmentation
  • Dry, hardened skin

The treatment will have to deal with these symptoms, because the dog may lick and scratch his skin in excess, which can lead to complications such as open wounds and additional infections.

You may want to clip the dog's hair in the areas where you will apply topical treatment. This will ensure that the skin will heal more rapidly. The topical treatment will consist of ointments that may contain:

  • Antibiotics, which can prevent infections and clean the area
  • Cortisone, which can eliminate rashes, swelling and skin lesions

Prior to applying the topical ointments, you will have to clean the area with a moist sponge, so that you won't massage dirt and other possible infectious agents into the dog's skin along with the cream. Some vets will recommend using a dry shampoo that contains benzoyl peroxide, which will disinfect the area.

The topical creams will be applied on the zones of skin that are affected by lesions or areas of hardened skin. You need to apply the cream generously and make sure the solution penetrates the skin.

Even though it may be better to leave the area uncovered to allow the air to circulate and the skin to heal more rapidly, you may want to apply a bandage at least for the first hour after applying the cream, to make sure your dog doesn't lick the applied cream. Some of these creams may contain substances that are toxic for canines to ingest.

Medication Treatment

While most dogs with staph infection will not need more than topical treatment, some will also require medication treatment. This treatment is recommended mostly to dogs that have a compromised immune system or have secondary infections. The medication treatment will consist of antibiotics that will kill the bacteria and other possible infectious agents in the dog's body. The medication treatment should be used in conjunction with the topical treatment.

The antibiotics will be administered for 7 to 21 days, depending on the severity of the infection. Make sure you administer the medication for as long as recommended by your vet. If you stop the medication, your dog may become immune to the antibiotics and the infection will persist.

You shouldn't administer antibiotics to your pet unless prescribed by the vet. The antibiotics will be formulated for dogs, and are only available through prescription.