Staphylococcus in dogs
Staphylococcus in dogs leads to acute damage to the integumentary tissues, and then to the internal organs. In the absence of treatment and a strong weakening of the immune system, the pathology can lead the animal to death. Knowing the symptoms of the infection of the pet, the features of the diagnosis and therapy of staphylococcus will help prevent tragedy.
Staphylococcus in dogs is caused by spherical bacteria – representatives of the genus Intermedius. They are present everywhere, therefore, are on the surface of the body of animals and humans and normal. Any damage to the skin leads to increased reproduction of microbes. If the body’s immune system is strong, its cells quickly cope with the infection. Otherwise, the activity of bacteria causes an acute inflammatory process, accompanied by necrotic phenomena, the formation of pus.
Staphylococci are characterized by:
resistance to external environmental factors, due to the special structure of their cell membrane;
the ability to synthesize enzymes and toxic compounds that facilitate the penetration of an animal or human into the body;
resistance to many antibiotics.
Most often, the disease occurs in the hot season. The risk group includes young, elderly and weakened dogs.
What contributes to the development of staphylococcus in dogs
The reason for the development of staphylococcus in dogs can be any violation in the body, leading to a decrease in protective forces, for example:
malnutrition with a minimum content of vitamins;
damage to the skin and / or mucous membranes;
violation of the liver;
high blood sugar;
internal and external parasites;
If staphylococcus develops independently, it is called primary. If it is a consequence of another violation, then they speak of a secondary form.
Symptoms of Staphylococcus in Dogs
At the very beginning of infection, the symptoms of staphylococcus are concentrated on the skin or mucous membrane. These include:
pink or red round spots;
hair loss in spots;
bleeding of damaged areas (the pet gnaws spots due to severe itching);
boils (with the penetration of bacteria into the deeper layers).
Staphylococcus aureus is especially dangerous – in addition to the above symptoms, it causes a violation of the gastrointestinal tract. The clinical picture is manifested in vomiting, indigestion, rapid onset of dehydration.
Complications of the disease
If even a minor infected area is detected, urgent action is required. Ignoring the disease can cause serious complications.
The development of inflammation in the ears. The animal has an unpleasant odor from the ear canal, and pressure on the auricle leads to a squelching sound. Simultaneously with the ears, the organs of vision, the nasal mucosa can become inflamed: characteristic discharge, swelling, and redness appear.
In bitches, staphylococcus is complicated by vaginitis, endometritis, pyometritis. Dogs suffer from inflammation of prepuce. Pathologies quickly turn into a chronic form, which further complicates treatment.
The spread of staphylococcus through the bloodstream is fraught with the formation of numerous boils, carbuncles, inflammation of the follicles. Located in the area of the interdigital folds on the legs, they especially worsen the condition of the dog.
How to identify pathology: diagnosis
The basis for the diagnosis of staphylococcus in dogs is examination. After determining the symptoms and obtaining information from the owner, the veterinarian can take smears for bacterial sowing. However, in most cases, the results of the study of the material do not provide accurate information about the microorganism, since, in addition to staphylococcus, it contains other microbes. Among additional methods, tests are used for the presence of allergies, the detection of systemic disorders.
Treatment of staphylococcus in dogs is carried out comprehensively. First of all, it is necessary to destroy the pathogen. For this, a staphylococcal bacteriophage is administered to the pet. In addition, they activate the animal’s own immune system using non-specific and specific methods. In the first case, the use of immunostimulants, causing an increase in the number of immune cells, is indicated. With specific treatment, staphylococcal toxoid (active immunotherapy) or antistaphylococcal serum (passive immunotherapy) is administered. The latter option is applicable only at the beginning of the development of pathology. Both that, and another cannot be used at the same time.
The complex of therapeutic measures necessarily includes antibacterial agents. Staphylococci quickly develop resistance to antibiotics, therefore, as a rule, several drugs are prescribed one after another or in a complex (according to indications).