Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
12 Veterinary Answers
Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections?

Several different species of staphylococcus (staph) bacteria can affect people and dogs. Many people carry S. aureus bacteria without symptoms, but these bacteria can take advantage of a weakened immune system or a skin injury to multiply and cause an opportunistic staph infection. Dogs rarely carry S. aureus, but they may catch the infection from their human owners. On the other hand, dogs naturally carry another strain of bacteria, S. pseudintermedius which, like S. aureus in humans, is usually asymptomatic unless the dog has an open wound or a weakened immune system. S. pseudintermedius can be zoonotic, but it doesn’t usually cause severe infection in humans. In dogs, staph infections typically affect the skin, with areas of redness, peeling and crusted or ulcerated skin. Most are responsive to a penicillin-type beta lactam antibiotic, such as methicillin, and the symptoms clear up easily with treatment. Some strains of S. aureus or S. pseudintermedius, can develop resistance to traditional antibiotics, however; this type of methicillin-resistant infection is called MRSA or MRSP depending on the strain of bacteria. Resistance can take the form of a resilient coating, or proteins that are not affected by the antibiotic. The ability to withstand antibiotics is often passed on genetically to subsequent generations of bacteria, so antibacterial-resistant infections are more common in animals that have received prior treatment. They are also more common in dogs taking drugs that suppress the immune system such as prednisone, corticosteroids, or chemotherapy treatment for cancer. MRSA and MRSP are not more virulent than other types of staph infections, but they are harder to treat and may take more time to heal.

Dogs are susceptible to the same type of staphylococcus bacteria that causes staph infections in humans. Most symptoms clear up with antibiotic treatment, but in some cases, the bacteria can develop resistance to traditionally prescribed antibiotics. These antibiotic-resistant infections are called MRSA or MRSP depending on the strain of bacteria involved.

Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $450 - $2,500

Average Cost

$900

Symptoms of Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Dogs with high numbers of staph bacteria can develop a severe skin infection. See a veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  • Pimples
  • Red spots
  • Red patches (erythema)
  • Peeling or itching skin
  • Crusted skin
  • Ulcerated areas
  • Weeping areas and pus
  • Loss of fur
  • Persistent skin infection (pyoderma) that doesn’t respond to treatment

Types

S. aureus and S. pseudintermedius are the most common types of staph bacteria found in people and dogs respectively. S. schleiferi is another recently identified strain found in both people and dogs that can develop the same kind of antibiotic resistance.

  • MRSA – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • MRSP – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius
  • MRSS – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus schleiferi
  • MDR (multiple drug resistant) infection – another name for all types of this condition 
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Causes of Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

These conditions can make it more likely for your dog to develop an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.

  • Weak immune system
  • Wounds or damaged tissue
  • Recent surgery
  • Frequent hospital visits
  • Poor hygiene and conditions of overcrowding
  • Prior infection treated with antibiotics
  • Failure to properly clean pus or infected fluid before treatment
  • Failure to administer the proper number of antibiotic doses
  • Immune suppression drugs taken at the same time as the antibiotic
  • Other drugs or foods that interfere with the antibiotic function
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Diagnosis of Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

The veterinarian will suspect a staph infection based on your dog’s symptoms. A cellular culture will be analyzed under a microscope to check for bacteria as well as analyze the possibility of a simultaneous fungal infection. This may not directly determine the species or strain of bacteria, but the veterinarian will likely prescribe an empiric antibiotic immediately. If the infection does not respond to treatment, a culture will be taken and sent to a lab where the specific strain of bacteria will be identified and analyzed for its resistance to antibiotics. The veterinarian will keep your dog on the original antibiotic until the bacteria has been identified as resistant.

If your dog has had prior infections that did not respond to treatment, this will make MRSA or MRPA more likely. The veterinarian will need to know your dog’s medical history, including past and present medications, especially immunosuppressant treatment. Any other recent illnesses, injuries or surgeries will also be relevant. The veterinarian will check your dog’s vital signs and take blood and urine samples to evaluate his overall health.

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Treatment of Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

The veterinarian will suspect a staph infection based on your dog’s symptoms. A cellular culture will be analyzed under a microscope to check for bacteria as well as analyze the possibility of a simultaneous fungal infection. This may not directly determine the species or strain of bacteria, but the veterinarian will likely prescribe an empiric antibiotic immediately. If the infection does not respond to treatment, a culture will be taken and sent to a lab where the specific strain of bacteria will be identified and analyzed for its resistance to antibiotics. The veterinarian will keep your dog on the original antibiotic until the bacteria has been identified as resistant.

If your dog has had prior infections that did not respond to treatment, this will make MRSA or MRPA more likely. The veterinarian will need to know your dog’s medical history, including past and present medications, especially immunosuppressant treatment. Any other recent illnesses, injuries or surgeries will also be relevant. The veterinarian will check your dog’s vital signs and take blood and urine samples to evaluate his overall health.

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Recovery of Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Most dogs with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection will make a full recovery. Once a dog has had one drug-resistant infection, however, the likelihood of a repeat infection is higher. Keeping your dog on a healthy diet helps to support the immune system and can reduce the chances that the bacteria will proliferate. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in salmon and some other fish, are particularly effective. Natural, immune-supportive supplements are also available for dogs. Discuss the best options with your veterinarian.

In order to reduce the risk of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant, it’s important to give all the prescribed doses of an antibiotic, even if your dog’s symptoms appear to be better. Otherwise, antibiotic resistant bacteria may survive and pass this ability on to the next generation. Hygiene precautions should be taken around infected dogs to avoid spreading resistant bacteria. Humans carrying MRSA should also be careful about infecting dogs. This is especially likely if your dog is a therapy dog, or spends time around hospital patients. Keep your dog on a healthy diet, and bathe him regularly with antiseptic shampoo to reduce the risk of infection.

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Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $450 - $2,500

Average Cost

$900

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Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Great Dane

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10 ?

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Wet Cough

My dog Boo has had pneumonia several times. This last time she had 3 rounds of antibiotics and apparently didn't quite kick it because she started to get worse. The vet gave another round and she got better. 2.5 weeks later and she is getting worse again. Her vet can't do a culture and sensitivity test. Is there a different antibiotic that might work?

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. It is concerning that she keeps getting frequent bouts of pneumonia. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with the nearest veterinary internist so they can do a further work up to figure out why the pneumonia keeps reoccurring. They will be able to perform a culture and sensitivity and repeat chest radiographs to look for evidence on what would predispose her to pneumonia. I hope she feels better soon.

July 27, 2020

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Wolfie

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pit mix

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Appetite

My dog wolfie has been battling kidney stones and UTIs for almost 2 years. His most recent ultrasound showed one kidney completely shriveled up and dead, and the other full of stones that moved to the center of his kidney. He has had several 6 week courses of baytril this year alone. He will appear better for a week or more after finishing baytril and then stop wanting to eat, sometimes get a fever, and go back on antibiotics. He has had multiple ultrasound guided cultures. The vets have not been able to give me any advice on what to feed him to address his kidneys. They have said they do not know what type of kidney stones so they can't recommend kidney disease type of food. I have him on a probiotic and cranberry supplements for urinary and kidney health. He had blood work yesterday and creatnene is 2.6 which is a tad lower than Feb. He has been grain free diet last 3 years. What foodles will be most helpful and is there anything else I can do?

Aug. 9, 2018

Wolfie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Kidney stones can be very challenging to treat or remove surgically, and periodic antibiotics to treat any ongoing infection may be the best thing that can be done for Wolfie. If he hasn't seen an internal medicine specialist, that might be a good idea, as they may be able to provide more advanced care for him to help with this problem.

Aug. 9, 2018

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Jager

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German Shepherd

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Ataxic
Ear Inflamation

Our 3.75yo, male, neutered GSD has never been diagnosed, nor presented with an ear infection or dermatitis. He has not had recent changes to diet and is on a limited ingredient diet. His stools are solid and healthy. He was recently bitten on the forelimb during daycamp. The veterinarian irrigated the wound and prescribed zeniquin for 14 days to prevent infection. 10-12 days after the last dose of zeniquin, his eardrum burst. External ear swap indicated co-infection of yeast and cocci. Speciation nor cultures were performed. He was prescribed zeniquin orally 1x per day for 6 weeks and baytril ointment 2x per day for duration with biweekly follow-ups. After 6 weeks the tympanum was closed but presence of yeast and cocci had not decreased to an acceptable lev el. The veterinarian instructed to continue zeniquin for the full 6 weeks, but changed the topical to Posatex 1x per day with a micellar wash 1x every other day. My question is: could the 14 day treatment with zeniquin for the bite wound led to a zeniquin resistant inner ear infection? Purpose of request: to ensure that we exercise care to raise the issue in the future to stay ahead of secondary infections.

July 19, 2018

Jager's Owner

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0 Recommendations

It is nice to see an owner concerned about antibiotic resistance. A single course of Zeniquin (marbofloxacin) shouldn’t cause an effect or issues with resistance with an additional course of treatment; however it would be irresponsible to treat multiple different infections one after the other with Zeniquin or to treat for a short period of time (two or three days) stop and then treat again for a few days. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15555883

July 20, 2018

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Kaja

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Boxer

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6 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Discharge

Hello, I have a female boxer puppy. She is 6 months old. She has been having a discharge from her vagina for the past couple of months. When our Vet did a vaginal testing he found that she had the staphylococcus pseudintermedius bacteria. We already did 3 rounds of antibiotic and she is still discharging. What can we do> what would be the next move? Please advise.

July 18, 2018

Kaja's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Management and treatment of (methicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus pseudintermedius can be tricky, the culture test should have also indicated the antibiotic the infection was most susceptible to (sensitivity testing). There is no single magic antibiotic or solution unfortunately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 19, 2018

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minny

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Maltese

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4 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Kidney Failure

my dog has unknown kidney failure that tried antibiotic and fluids but nothing has change they thought it was lepto but came back negative, and the doctor thinks its a good idea to put him to sleep.

May 2, 2018

minny's Owner


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1 Recommendations

It is important to understand the cause of kidney failure so that it may be treated along with managing the kidney failure itself; there are many causes of kidney failure but it is important to determine the specific cause so that the correct treatment may be given, apart from that you can try to manage the kidney failure with dietary changes and fluid therapy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 3, 2018

Definitely find out what’s kind of CKF. My 5.5 year old Italian Mastiff presented with immune mediated glomerili (sp) nephritis. Took him to tufts. They put him on every possible drug they could and sent us home. We ended up at a vet who practices both traditional medicine and Chinese. In the beginimg he went from 80 to 60 pounds In Two weeks. Shocking to say the least. During his first acupuncture treatment he started eating treats. So six months of sub Q fluids. mirtazepine for appetite. Cephlaxin at about three times the dosage what tufts prescribed Cooking anything and everything thing. High protein a RPM diet ( he also had an umbrella diagnosis of protein. Losing neuropathy). He and I got him back eating. With that said you need to check phosphorus levels because if they’re too high they get nauseous and will associate it with the food they liked at one time and won’t eat it any more so you need to give them something called aluminum hydroxide powder from thrivingpets.com. With the pets food or else it’s useless. So check the phos levels. Ask about itBecause sometimes they don’t even think along those lines. High protein if it’s PLN. Our pup became himself again after we were told by a moron at an all caring chain vet to put him down. He and we were happy. His libido came back and he had a great quality of life like he had before. However any kind of infection is something that cannot be fought. So make sure you watch closely for any external (even a little) cut because it can be far too much. When kidney failure presents itself the kidneys are only working at 20% but if you think about it even a person can live with only one kidney so a dog or cat can live a long life with proper care and research beyond that it takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication but it can be done and it’s also expensive however my animals are my life and they’re my babies and they’re the only babies I’ve ever had so this is why am so passionate about it and this is why I’m telling my story. If you’d like to contact me for more information you can contact me at avapidblonde@gmail.com. Most “in the box doctors” will recommend a prescription low-protein diet full of carbs And very bland but you got to get your pet eating But you can start with water and light or dark Karo syrup just get some nutrients and some sugar or something in the body so that they start to gain a little bit of weight etc. I send you love and light. We took them off every single med that tough skins off gave us because it was far too much for her system when your kidneys can’t process the drugs and then giving you all these drugs I need to go high-protein food check the fast levels and join groups on Facebook look for any sort of canine kidney disease so that’s CKD or CRF groups join them they are full of information in these dogs live for years with kidney failure. We took them off every single med that tough skins off gave us because it was far too much for system when your kidneys can’t process the drugs and they’re giving you all these drugs I need to go high protein food check the fast levels and join groups on Facebook or Reddit. look for any sort of canine kidney disease groups like CKD or CRF groups join them they are full of information. They can live and thrive for years with kidney failure. But it takes dedication.

Aug. 22, 2018

Vapid B.

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Rudee

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Miniature Schnauzer

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7 Years

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

7 yrs old female mini schnauzer started losing weight over the last 5 months. Poo was running and frequent. She was diagnosed with a bacterial infection. Shes been treated multiple times it goes and then comes back. Had multiple test done the last 5 months nothing has worked. The last 4 days all of her food comes back up just like it went down, whole. Shes extremely week. At the emergency room right now and they say her large intestine is folded and swollen. Shes down to 9lbs. They say she wont make it thru the weekend. Looking for a little advice. Shes getting weaker by the minute.

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Carlos

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Cane Corso

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Runny Stool, White Specks In Stool

My dog hs been diagnosed as having round worms. He is 2 years old when he was a puppy he was treated a couple of times for the same using Pancura. the vet said that the worms must be resistant to that medicine but is not sure what to treat them with.

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MAXIMILLIAN

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Bernese Mountain Dog

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Discharge

MY 2 YEAR OLD BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG TORE HIS ACL AND HAD TPLO SURGERY. AFTER THE SUTURES WERE REMOVED HE DEVELOPED A ANTIBIOTIC RESISTENT BACTERIAL INFECTION. HE HAS HAD SURGERY IN AN ATTEMPT TO EXCISE THE BACTERIA BUT IT HAS COME BACK AGAIN. AS A RESULT HIS LEG ISN'T HEALING AS IT SHOULD SO THEY CAN REMOVE THE PLATE AND SCREWS. WE ARE CURRENTLY WAITING ON ANOTHER CULTURE TO SEE WHAT TO GIVE HIM THIS ROUND. HE ALREADY TOOK INJECTIONS FOR 20 DAYS AND THE VET DOESN'T WANT TO GIVE TO HIM AGAIN CAUSE THE GENICOMYCIN COULD DAMAGE HIS KIDNEYS. HE WAS ALSO GIVEN AN ANTIBIOTIC THAT REQUIRED US TO WEAR GLOVES WHEN ADMINISTERING IT. ANY IDEAS ON WHAT TO DO NEXT.

dog-name-icon

Duke

dog-breed-icon

Mixed

dog-age-icon

13 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy
Fur Loss
Red Skin

Our dog Duke is 13 years old and about 90lbs when he was healthy. He's a double coated black mixed breed dog. He's been in gabapentin for 3 years to aid in nerve, back, hip pain. It works. 2 months ago we noticed he was losing fur, skin patches showed up. Long story short, we did blood work, biopisies and cultures. This lead to: -Normal bloodwork, including thyroid -biopsy showed 3 layers of issues. 1st, allergic reaction learning to: 2nd. Dermatitis, 3rd bacterial infection -culture lead to anti bacterial resistant staph infection -they put him on a medication that I'm sorry I can't remember the name of. But it was the strongest option. 2 pills 3 times a day for 10 days. We gave it to him perfectly. Fast forward a month. His skin is worse. We went in yesterday and they sent out another culture. What should our concerns be? In trying to decide how much more to put him through.

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Ellie

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Bulldog/pit bull mix

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Swollen Paw
Infected Paw

My 2 year old bulldog/pit has a growth or wart as they called it at the vet. Her foot swollen and infected. The antibiotics they gave her at the vet 2 days ago don't seem to be working at all!! She can put very little weight on her paw and seems to be in pain. This girl is everything to me and I simply don't know what to do. And I'm not sure if I've given the antibiotics enough time to work but I was expecting progress by now ...please help

Antibiotic-resistant Bacterial Infections Average Cost

From 57 quotes ranging from $450 - $2,500

Average Cost

$900

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