How should I treat Staph Infection in Dogs?

Staph infection in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and treatment

Staphylococcus (sometimes called “staph”) is a bacterium that can cause many diseases. Staphylococcus bacteria are the main reason for staph infections in dogs.

It often appears as skin infections at the sites of irritation or wounds, though Staphylococcus can affect nearly any part of the body. 

These bacteria are commonly found on people and animals’ skin but do not cause any problems until the skin is irritated or the immune system is compromised.

Staph bacteria can live freely in the environment without a host or take up residence on the skin or in the upper respiratory tract of a person or animal.


However, if a staph infection goes untreated on time, it can lead to severe conditions like blood poisoning and your dog’s loss.


A staph infection can appear in dogs’ internal organs and usually occur in fever and weakness symptoms. You must consult a veterinarian if you detect the marks of a staph infection so that you can form a remedy plan.


Here’s what you should know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for staph infections in dogs.

Causes of Staph Infections in Dogs


Actually, staph bacteria are opportunistic. It typically exists peacefully on the skin, but when a pet’s skin is irritated, or their immune system is compromised. It creates the ideal conditions for the bacteria to affect, increase, and take over.


Most pets develop staph infections as a result of licking, scratching, or chewing their skin. Many things can cause a dog to lick or scratch, including parasites and allergies.


Besides, dogs with weak immune systems caused by diseases, allergies, infections, young age, or old age are more susceptible to a staph infection.


While staph bacteria are contagious. It can spread from animal to animal and person to person, but a staph infection cannot itself; it only occurs when the host’s skin is irritated or has a weak immune system.


Symptoms of Staph Infections in Dogs

Staph infection depends on the affected part of the dog’s body. One of the primary signs of staph infection in dogs is skin lesions. Two types of lesions may appear: a red area with pimple-like pustules characterizes one.


The other is also red but distinctly circular, crusting around the circle’s edge and hair loss in the center. In the case of skin infections, you can observe around the body’s irritant or wounded area to see the mark.


However, the bacteria may spread through the blood or other parts of the body. On the other hand, if the infection appears in internal organs, you may see illness signs.


Here are some symptoms usually include:

  • Pain
  • Rash or inflammation of the skin
  • Abscesses
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Pus around the wound
  • Hair loss
  • loss of appetite
  • Secondary infections of the ears, eyes, or respiratory system

Treatment for Staph Infections in Dogs

You must immediately contact your veterinarian if your dog is exhibiting any of the above symptoms. Perhaps, it possible to diagnose a staph infection based on only symptoms, but you can confirm a skin biopsy or bacteriological culture.


Further, skin testing, allergies, or other skin infections can help determine the condition’s cause. Because bacteria cause staph infections, the treatment for dogs is usually antibiotics.


For skin infections, vets typically prescribe a topical antibiotic lotion or cream. In some cases, vets prescribe oral antibiotics to prevent the disease from spreading to internal organs.


A veterinarian will instruct on applying the lotion and when it is harmless to stop the medication regimen. Medicated shampoo and baths may recover it rapidly. It would help if you asked your veterinarian about these solutions.


It’s also important to treat the wound’s underlying cause if it was made by a dog scratching, chewing, or licking at the skin. Typically, dogs do this as a response to an allergen or irritant.


If you don’t treat the itching cause, a new wound can form due to leaving your dog open to more staph infections. You can use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from licking the antibiotic cream off or chewing at the wound.


Treatment of internal infections depends on the affected organs. Usually, the vet prescribes antibiotics, though this is often not enough to prevent tissue and organ damage. Some vets may perform surgery on affected areas, work to drain fluid, or remove damaged tissue.


You must consult a veterinarian when you see symptoms of a staph infection. The earlier you start treatment, the better. How do you treat it if your dog has a staph infection? Let us know in the comments below.