Many of us have read about Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). This pathogen (germ) is very difficult to treat because it is resistant to most antibiotics. In animals, there is a cousin to MRSA called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius (MRSP). According to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2011, “MRSP has emerged as a significant animal health problem in veterinary medicine.” Could your dog be susceptible to this germ?
I asked my Papa to write about this topic, not just because I don’t have opposable thumbs, but also because he is such a dweeb that if he wrote the story, he would write it in an analytical and scientific style and bore us to death. While he does get to speak some “dweeb” in the article, I will keep his input to a minimum.
Last month, my veterinarian sent me to a doggie dermatologist because a bacterial susceptibility profile determined that my owies had MRSP. I have no idea what methicillin is, but I was given two pills that Papa put in pill pockets so that I will take them. He tells me that I was taking an anti-fungal medication and Clindamycin to fight the owies. After 30 days, the owies (called pyoderma) did not clear up. Papa was very worried. He is a nursing student (going back to school at age 50 to get his B.S.N.) and he is quite aware of the effects of infections and their dangers. “What do we do now?” he asked. Papa and I lay down on our favorite couch and I napped next to him while he found out what can be done.
Papa says that according to Worms and Germs Blog, 2011 Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius is found on the skin, nose, mouth and/or the intestinal tract of 50% of dogs that are otherwise healthy. MRSP is resistant to many antibiotics and in my situation, resistant to all antibiotics (short of vancomycin). Since I don’t have a systemic infection (inside my body) and I am a dog and not a human, use of stronger antibiotics like vancomycin, is “controversial due to the risk for development of resistance against” these antibiotics and perhaps put humans at risk (van Duijkeren, Boudewijn, Greko, Moreno, Pomba, Pyorala & Scientific Advisory Group on Antimicrobials (SAGAM), 2011).
At first, Papa and I were quite nervous about my condition. Papa is also worried about me going to Rainbow Bridge because of this condition. However, after several hours of Papa’s research and several hours of me napping, we learned several things that can be helpful for me.
Papa was given instructions by the dermatologist to use Ketochlor on me every other day and to use chlorhexidine on my skin during the days in between. He is also learning to groom me to keep my hair short. With help from the groomer, who shaved me with a number-10 blade and the vet, who showed papa how to safely use a number-40 blade, Papa can now easily get to my itchies and owies.
Perhaps the most important thing is for you pet owners to wash your hands after you pet me or any other dog. Secondly, don’t touch my owies directly and if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or hand gel if soap and water is not handy. When treating my owies, papa practices wound care by washing his hands, putting on gloves, cleaning my owies and then takes off his gloves and washes his hands again. Do the same if you are taking care of your dog’s owies and make sure that your veterinarian does the same. Don’t be afraid to demand that your vet washes their hands, in front of you in the examination room before examining your pet.
What else does Papa do to help me? He will put a cone on my head and also covers me in silly dog clothes to keep me from directly licking or scratching. He communicates with the groomer, vet and others that work with animals about my condition and explains the need to clean everything. MRSP is susceptible to most disinfectants used in the home if the surfaces are properly cleaned first (MRSP for pet owners, 2011).
It appears that MRSP, in my case, may not cause an early departure for Rainbow Bridge. With good, diligent bathing and wound care, papa has at least stopped the itching so that I don’t give the itchies and owies undue attention. He is also giving me Immugen, Cod Liver Oil to help with possible immune system issues that can cause me to be susceptible. He is also looking into alternative methods of care including using colloidal silver on my owies.
The road ahead is uncertain for me. I will need a lot of care and attention. But I know that Papa has done a lot of reading to determine how to best take care of me. Below are a few links to websites that papa found useful.
WebMD Pet Health Community – http://forums.webmd.com/3/pet-health-exchange/forum/4899
About the author: I am Sebastien, a 10-year-old brown Cocker Spaniel with a white chest, who lives in Wisconsin. I was born in January 2002 to CH Tebreez Seldom So Cool (Duncan) and Caralee’s Angel in Paradise (Carrie). I love chasing tennis balls, swimming in the lakes in northern Wisconsin and rolling on dead bass.