Staph Infection in Dogs

Staph infections are a common bacterial infection of the skin of dogs. They infect the outer skin of the dog as well as the hair follicles.

What are the symptoms of canine staph infections?

Staph causes red lesions on the dog, sometimes with pimples and scabs around them. Sometimes the lesions look very similar to canine ringworm - they are red circles with bald spots in the center.

   

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What causes the infection in dogs?

The direct cause is a bacteria called Staphylococcus. However, it is usually an "opportunistic" infection that takes advantage of another condition in the dog - sometimes an immune system problem, sometimes allergies caused by pollen, food, or flea bites, and sometimes reactions to household chemicals. In fact, staph bacteria are often found in the skin of healthy dogs. It only flares up when something else has weakened the skin or the immune system.

What is the treatment for dogs?

Antibiotics are the main treatment, which will allow the dog to fight off the infection. Your vet may also suggest that you use any of several shampoos and ointments that are known to help alleviate the skin conditions caused by the staph.

Can I get staph from my dog?

Technically, you already have it and probably have your entire life. Staph lives in people and dogs normally in the skin. You will not catch the symptoms, however, because the dog is getting them because of something peculiar to its body - an allergy or immune problem.

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