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Antibiotic-Resistant Infections in Dogs


Treatment for MRSA


For dogs that are colonized with MRSA and are otherwise healthy, treatment is usually not necessary. In most cases, assuming that the dog is not re-exposed to the bacteria, your dog will successfully clear the infection, usually within a few weeks. However, attention to sanitary practices is recommended, including household disinfection.


For dog with MRSA infections, local wound treatment is important and may consist of lancing and draining any abscesses, keeping wounds clean and bandaged, and following any directions provided by your veterinarian. Antibiotics are normally chosen based on testing to determine which medications are most effective in killing the bacteria. Finish all antibiotics prescribed for your dog even if his symptoms seem to be improved before the medication is finished.


Living and Management of MRSA


If your dog is colonized or infected with a MRSA, there are several things you can do to prevent transmission.


  • Hand hygiene is the most important way to prevent transmission to other pets or family members. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently using soap and water.
  • Wear gloves when handling infected areas on your dog and wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning wounds or changing bandages. Discard bandages directly into the trash.
  • Do not let your MRSA-positive pet sleep with you.
  • Do not allow your MRSA-positive dog to lick or “kiss” your face or skin.
  • Walk you dog on a leash and clean up all feces as soon as possible.
  • Clean your dog’s bedding and toys regularly.


Prevention of MRSA


To prevent spread of MRSA infections to your pet, hand hygiene is important. If you or a family member are suffering from an MRSA infection or are colonized, wash your hands thoroughly and often using soap and water. Also, avoid kissing your dog or allowing your dog to kiss you or come into contact with any broken skin.


Support and Resources:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections.” Accessed January 24, 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/.