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    Dangerous Hot Spots
    M Duffy Jones, DVM posted:
    A hot spot is usually the result of a superficial bacterial skin infection in your pet. But these days, what you might think is just another hot spot could actually be evidence of a potentially dangerous Staph infection.

    The two main types of Staph of concern for pets and pet owners are Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP). Here are a few facts that every pet owner should know about these bacteria:
    -- MRSA can move between animals and people.
    -- Although extremely rare, MRSP can cause infections in humans. If your immune system is compromised, there is more of a chance that you could catch this infection if your pet has it.
    -- In the past few years there has been a significant increase in the number of MRSP infections that are being reported in companion animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, etc.).
    -- MRSA and MRSP can both be life threatening if not properly treated.
    -- MRSP appears to be growing more and more resistant to many of our popular antibiotics.

    If your pet has had a history of hot spots that don't seem to heal with regular vet care, be sure she is being tested -- and treated if necessary -- for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus.

    Also, if your pet has MRSA or MRSP:
    -- Avoid contact with the infected area. Keep the infected area covered, if possible.
    -- Avoid contact with his mouth and nose, since many times the bacteria will be there -- no cuddling and kissing.
    -- Don't allow your pet to sleep with you or a family member. This increases exposure to the bacteria.
    -- Wash your hands frequently.
    -- Wash your pet's bed and playthings.
    -- If you have a compromised immune system, inform your veterinarian so you can discuss how best to protect yourself and your pet. Also, be sure to speak with your own physician.

    We are learning new things about these bacteria all the time. So information on how to protect people and pets is constantly changing. Many veterinarians take a very proactive approach when dealing with such cases and will try to make sure everyone in the household is protected. We treat pets' infections aggressively and make sure all members of their families understand the potential problems that Staph infections can cause.

    Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned. New information is becoming available all the time. Also, remember that most hot spots are initially caused by fleas. So year-round flea control may help you and your pets avoid these types of infections completely.
    GeorgiaOnMyMind3 responded:
    Good info. My dog has had hot spots and allergies. We got the allergies under control by switching his food to Natural Balance L.I.D. potato & duck and the rashes disappeared. I think the information you wrote about can help may pet owners.
    JABCASH responded:
    On November 18, 2011, my family's 11 year old Golden Retriever went to a Vet/Clinic in Kailua, Hawaii for a routine operation. We had been taking all 6 of our dogs to this Vet/Clinic for almost 7 years.

    Five agonizing months later, my had to be put down.

    He could no longer fight the 2 deadly, infectious bacteria that that had taken over his body.

    My dog died because the Vet did not look at my dog's Records and gave him a drug (Rimadyl) that tests showed he could not tolerate. The side effects (the drug has many side effects including Death) caused a red, itchy "hotspot" on the top of his head. The lesion became infected and spread down his face and other lesions appeared on his legs, arms and trunk.

    Despite us asking the Vet (3 times) to please take a culture test, he refused but instead kept prescribing different antibiotics.

    Throwing different antibiotics at an infection without knowing what it is can be deadly. Overuse of antibiotics is but one of the reasons behind the swift evolution of the "superbugs," the other reason is lack of knowledge.

    By the time any tests were taken, it was too late.
    My dog's body has been taken over by 2 potentially deadly, transmittable (between human and animal) bacterial infections (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcal (Strep). The Culture & Sensitivity Test revealed that both bacteria were resistant to ALL antibiotics.

    My dog was eventually put out of his misery.

    I created a website to share what I learned about MRSA and to share my dog's story.
    M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to GeorgiaOnMyMind3's response:
    I am so glad to hear your dog's allergies got better with a diet change. It is great when you find a diet that really works. The best way to avoid these infections is by getting rid of the underlying cause - such as the allergy.
    M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to JABCASH's response:
    I am so sorry to hear about your experience. These infections are such a problem because of their resistance. I know how heartbroken you must be.
    bluegirth responded:
    Can a indoor dog cause health problems with someone that has pulmony fibrosis? The dog has skin allergies and licks and chews on himself all the time.
    M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to bluegirth's response:
    The only thing I would worry about is dogs with chronic allergies are very prone to infections. The infections can become resistant to many antibiotics. I would make sure you treat the skin allergies aggressively to prevent infections that could be spread to you.
    CMH7054 replied to M Duffy Jones, DVM's response:
    We finally (I think) got Latte's allergies under control, but she had a bacterial infection that kept her itching. I gave her the antibiotic for the vet recommended 10 days and then it came back.She was scratching in the same spots and getting the little pustules back. All my reading suggested that the antibiotic should be taken for 30 days to really knock it out. So we're back on it.
    M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to CMH7054's response:
    Good to hear about the allergies. If the infection comes back, I ask your vet about culturing the area to know exactly what bacteria you are dealing with.
    aceman27 replied to M Duffy Jones, DVM's response:
    Dr. Jones I have a question I notice just yesterday around close to my dogs paw area that he lost some hair and red spot, but it looked like he had not broken the skin it is not sore he doesn't pain when we touch it, is it a possible hotspot???

    We did give a bath on Saturday and put some medicine on him on sunday to keep the ticks and feas away from him
    M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to aceman27's response:
    Good question. Hair loss around the paws does happen at times especially in dogs that are very active. I would watch the area and if it becomes open I would have him checked out by your regular vet. If the redness goes away and the hair comes back then I think you are in the clear.
    carlsbad08 responded:
    My Mom's dog had her eye removed because of glacoma. She has now developed MRSA in that eye. Our vet recommended doxycycline, then surgery to remove the prosthesis, followed by more antibiotics. The problem is my Mom is elderly and her immune system is compromised. There's no guarantee that the antibiotic will kill it. What should she do?

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