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How to Prevent Bacterial Inceptions in Dogs

The best way to prevent actinomycosis and any other type of bacterial infection in your dog is to detect problems early. If your dog is bitten by another animal, seek immediate veterinary attention.   Animal bites can turn serious very quickly. Even if you are able to administer first aid on the scene, you should still follow up with a veterinarian.

Inspect and groom your dog well after spending time outdoors, especially if your dog has been in an area with tall grasses or similar plants. Most penetrating foreign bodies are difficult to see with the naked eye, but you may be able to brush or comb them off. This process can also help you detect parasites like fleas or ticks.

MRSA in dogs and cats: 5 things every pet owner should know

MRSA infections have become a major concern in hospitals, but few people are aware that animals and humans can infect each other.

In the United States, one in three people carries a staph bacterium, an opportunistic pathogen causing hospital and community infections worldwide. Healthy people infected by this agent usually can be treated by an antibiotic.

One specific staph bacterium, however, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), carries a gene that proves resistant to the most common antimicrobial drugs. This makes it difficult to treat, and it can even be life threatening among immunocompromised people: the very old or very young, diabetics and people who had recent surgery or have open wounds.

MRSA has been on the rise and well known for many years, especially in hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers and other health care settings. It also can be transmitted in the community via skin-to-skin contact among groups such as child care workers.

What is less well known about MRSA is that pet owners can transmit it to their dogs, cats, birds and other animals — and vice versa. Since 2005, Professor Armando Hoet, director of the Veterinary Public Health Program at The Ohio State University, has studied MRSA in veterinary settings, including among dogs brought to the university’s Veterinary Medical Center.

“If a dog has MRSA, a person is the most likely source,” Hoet explained. “If someone in the house has MRSA, it can be transmitted to a pet through kissing, licking, bathing, or other direct contact with infected sites such as wounds.”

Coughing is not normal for dogs or cats. Coughing dogs could be suffering from:

  • Canine influenza
  • Canine infectious respiratory disease, which can be caused by several organisms that can be prevented by vaccines, like Bordetella and parainfluenza virus, as well as other organisms for which there are no vaccines
  • Heart failure
  • Heartworm disease

A coughing cat isn’t always struggling with a hairball. Unless a hairball actually comes up, your cat’s coughing might be a sign of:

  • Asthma
  • Heartworm disease