Staphylococcus in the body of dogs is always present, only most often the bacterium is in a latent state and is considered one of the components of the normal dermatological flora of an animal. If the dog’s immune system fails or staphylococcus enters a favorable environment, it begins to develop, causing harm to the body. Depending on the affected area, diseases have their own symptoms and require specific treatment.
Causes of Staph infection
"Staphylococcus time" is the summer period when the frequency and duration of walks and contact with other animals increase. Even if the owner carefully monitors the health of his pet, he cannot guarantee that during the walk the dog does not pick up bacteria in its active form from its four-legged companion.
The insidiousness of staphylococcus lies in the fact that the disease can be both primary and secondary, developing against the background of other diseases, which greatly complicates the diagnosis. The main causes of bacterial activation are:
- High carbohydrate content in the body.
- Vitamin deficiency, especially a deficiency of vitamins A, B, E.
- Disease of the internal organs, most often the liver and kidneys.
- Seasonal allergic reactions of the body.
- Weakened immunity.
- Defeat by fleas and ticks, especially Demodex.
- Dermatitis of various pathogenesis.
Not all dogs are susceptible to this disease. Oddly enough, the mongrels have the most powerful immunity that can resist infection. At risk are puppies, age-related animals and dogs after illness.
Types of bacteria that infect the animal
Cocci are divided into two types:
- Epidermal bacteria. These organisms do not process glucose and do not produce coagulase. Epidermal staphylococcus is most often localized on the skin, but with untimely treatment it can enter the dog’s body, causing diseases of vital organs.
- Golden bacteria that ferment glucose. Cocci of this strain are active not only on the skin, but also parasitize on the internal organs and in the circulatory system. Staphylococcus aureus in dogs is the most difficult to treat, since initially even specialists cannot correctly diagnose it.
Staphylococcus is a factorial disease. Bacteria can stay on the animal’s skin for a long time and not be felt, and only a combination of two factors triggers the development of the disease: the activity of an infectious agent (bacteria) and a decrease in immunity. The barrier to the penetration of cocci into the body is the skin, but not always damage to the dermis opens the way for infection. In the animal’s body there are antibodies that can resist bacteria, and in the case of a decrease in the body’s immune forces, the amount of these antibodies drops sharply.
With epidermal staphylococcus, bacteria begin to multiply actively at the site of tissue damage, causing inflammation. The body, in turn, starts the production of neutrophils, which not only fight the pathogen, but also clog the damaged vessels, secrete fibrin, which is a strong material for creating a protective barrier that prevents the further development of the disease. Gradually, an abscess forms in this place. If the immune system does not fail, the infection process will stop there.
Infection with a golden strain is much easier, and it is more difficult to identify the disease. The dog can drink water contaminated with bacteria or pick up something from the ground on the street. Otherwise, the process of developing infection is similar to the epidermal form.
Symptoms of Staphylococcus in Dogs
The sooner the owner will notice the development of the disease, the faster he will be able to cure his pet. Most often, it all starts with the paws, since it is the limbs that are most susceptible to injury during walks. It is also worth paying special attention to the ears and neck. The primary stage of staphylococcus in dogs is accompanied by severe itching, and that is why the owner does not always pay attention to changes in the behavior of his pet, attributing it to allergies or infection with fleas.
After some time, edema and redness form in the bacterial growth zone, which are most easily diagnosed in animals with long hair. The spots are usually round, they are often confused with lichen. At the site of the lesion, baldness can be observed. To check the suggestion of a coccal infection, just click on the spot, which will cause the dog pain. Over time, an abscess forms at the site of redness.
The danger lies in the fact that hair follicles are included in the pathological process and the following diseases develop:
- Folliculitis, manifested by the formation of red nodules without purulent contents. Most often develops on the head, groin, paws;
- Furunculosis - damage to the hair follicles with pathology of the skin glands. Develop in areas with thin skin;
- Carbuncle - a deep lesion of the dermis with coverage of the subcutaneous tissue. At this stage, the dogs have severe pain and often the temperature rises.
These signs are characteristic of epidermal staphylococcus, in case of damage to the animal’s organism by bacteria of the golden strain, in addition to local skin reactions, symptoms of general intoxication of the body can be observed. In young dogs in the first stage, all the symptoms of poisoning appear, which complicates the diagnosis. With the development of infection, the clinical picture will become clearer. Depending on where the pathogen got, its symptoms will appear.
- Inflamed skin syndrome when the dermis reacts to the slightest irritant.
- Disease of the genitourinary system. The animal becomes restless, its body temperature rises, urination becomes more frequent, vaginal discharge appears in bitches. In advanced cases, the kidneys are disturbed, which leads to an imbalance of water, electrolyte and nitrogen metabolism.
- Inflammation of the mammary glands. This disease affects lactating bitches. The main symptoms are engorgement of the nipples and general anxiety of the dog. The animal will not let puppies in, and pus can be found in expressed milk.
- Hearing disorder. The first symptoms - the dog shakes its head and as if trying to shake something off the ears. With the development of the disease, discharge from the auricles will appear.
- Digestive upset. Most often observed in puppies, since in the body of young animals the formation of the intestinal flora is still taking place.
- Heart disease, most often inflammation of the endocardium.
- Diseases of the eyes: blepharitis or damage to the cornea. This symptom is most easily noticed, since there will be abundant discharge from the eyes of the animal with the inclusion of pus. With untimely treatment, the animal may lose sight.
Diagnosing only by visual signs is very difficult. At the first suspicion of staph, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian. The doctor is obliged to do a bacteriosis in order to determine the strain of the pathogen, as well as conduct a biopsy of the skin. Be sure to carry out an allergy test. Often, an examination that excludes immune diseases is required. The selection of therapy depends on the correct determination of the pathogen, since different cocci exhibit different reactions to antibiotics.
Treatment of staph in dogs
The success of treatment depends on the stage of the disease. The first drug to be prescribed is an antihistamine to relieve itching. With the epidermal form, treatment of the affected areas with chlorophyllipt is most often prescribed, the wounds are washed with dimexide or novocaine compresses are made.
With a decrease in immunity, immunostimulants are prescribed, which leads to the growth of phagocytes and T cells, as a result of which the protective functions of the animal's body increase. Specially for dogs, the drug APS is developed - staphylococcal polyvalent toxoid. It is used for active immunostimulation. With a passive form of treatment, hyperimmune serum is used.
Treatment for staph infection involves antibiotic therapy. The standard regimen is 21 days of medication. In advanced cases, drugs are prescribed for up to 1.5 months. Most often, antibiotics of three groups have to be used. A good effect is given by such drugs as Baytril, Quinokol, Enrosept, Ciprinol.
The fourth stage of treatment is the introduction of a staphylococcal bacteriophage. This is also a virus, but unlike the causative agent of the disease, it does not violate the function of the body, but kills cocci.
Staphylococcus is a disease that requires contacting a veterinarian, because even comparing the symptoms in dogs, at home it is impossible to choose the right treatment and save the animal.