Staphylococcus aureus is usually a common causative agent of most Staphylococcal skin infections. Though the bacteria usually infect humans, Staph infection in dogs has become a common occurrence as of late. Dogs, like humans, also happen to be prone to skin diseases.
Much like in the case of humans, the S. aureus commonly resides harmlessly within the skin of dogs. It is not until the unsuspecting animal suffers from an immune system problem, usually caused by flea bites, food allergies, and house chemicals, will the Staph infection in dogs begin to set in. That is because Staphylococci generally happen to be very opportunistic in nature. This means that they only flare up when their potential “victim” becomes weakened by other underlying medical conditions. Otherwise, the bacteria will leave the host unharmed no matter how long they stay there. Other common causes of Staph infection in dogs include emotional stress (usually caused by owner negligence), unhealthy diet, and hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism.
The following signs and symptoms are evident in dogs infected with Staph bacteria:
- Rapid hair loss with severe itching.
- Skin rashes that can be often found on the chin, nose, and feet. This usually appears during the advanced stages.
- Red and ulcerated skin in the dog’s trunk area.
- Lethargic and sluggish behavior.
Staph infection in dogs can be diagnosed by obtaining the dog’s past health history, assessing the presence of Staph infections in the past. The appearance and location of the lesions are also very good indicators. But in order to confirm Staph infection, skin culture and sensitivity tests may be done. This also helps to determine the most appropriate antibiotic to use during the treatment.
Preventive measures for Staph infection in dogs must include the following:
- Keeping the dog away from various allergens, resulting in healthier skin.
- Integrating Omega-3 fatty acids into the dog’s diet.
- Bathing the dog regularly. There’s nothing better than maintaining proper hygiene, which is also the case in humans.