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Any experience dealing with staph infections in pet?
Old 08-18-2017, 11:25 AM   #1
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Any experience dealing with staph infections in pet?

Our family dog came down with 3 infections, including a staph infection, during/immediately following a surgical procedure to remove her eye due to a tumor in it. According to the vet and the lab report, this particular staph infection is one of the hardest (most resistant) infections to treat - staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP). She was on a high dosage of Chloramphenicol for 28 days but the latest culture showed the staph infection is still present while the other 2 infections are gone.

The infection is not skin related. Rather, it's internal which causes her left nostril (same side as the eye surgery) to run and become clogged. Plus, she sneezes a lot (no blood) and has started pawing at her eye and ear on the left side.

Based on the lab report, we're down to basically one more antibiotic to try - Rifampin - but this drug is pretty harsh and the vet is reluctant to try it because of (1) the potential damage to the liver, and (2) fear of the bacteria becoming resistant to it. He's wanting us to get a CT scan ($3k) to rule out any other causes such as a foreign body in the nostril or a tumor. She's already had a Rhinoscopy ($1.5k) and it found no foreign objects or tumors but the vet said the scope can't get into every nasal passage. I don't understand why we'd be doing a CT scan when the lab has confirmed she has MRSP.

Anyway, I'm hoping to hear if anyone else has experienced similar issues with a staph infection in their pet and to hear what worked and didn't work. Plus, I'm curious what others think about the vet's recommendation to get a CT scan done. I'm having a hard time understanding what the value of it would be.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:45 PM   #2
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Many vets are happy to use as many treatment options as you will pay for. For some reason, hard to find one who will get practical until you give them a budget and limits.
As with other medical procedures, second opinions can provide perspective. We are convinced we made a substantial contribution to our vet's new wing.
You might also consider investing in a case review by your nearest vet college top prof in your area of need--e,g.bacterial infections.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:20 AM   #3
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Don't really have any experience with your specific issue of staph.. However, have a lot of experience in forking over large sums to the vet. We can afford it, but it's just annoying. So far this year have spent about $4k, most of it related to 11 YO Bassett with repeated urinary tract infections. Love my dogs, but when these two depart that's it. We'd do a lot more traveling if it we didn't have the guilt of leaving them at vets or trying to get the stay at home pet sitter.
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #4
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Carpediem,
Yeah, those pesky skin infections. I'm sorry your buddy is having to go through this.

Are you seeing a general practice vet, or a specialist? If you are seeing your GP vet, ask for a referral to a specialist for a second opinion. You may end up with a treatment plan that can solve the issue, and that your lower cost GP Vet can manage.

Specialists can be pricey, but, if your GP vet partners with them you have two vets overseeing the problem to some kind of resolution.

Rita
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
Are you seeing a general practice vet, or a specialist? If you are seeing your GP vet, ask for a referral to a specialist for a second opinion. You may end up with a treatment plan that can solve the issue, and that your lower cost GP Vet can manage.
Thank you, Rita. We are still seeing our general vet although he mentioned the possibility of a referral to a specialist. We were in last week for another issue - ear infection - and the vet recommended that we start trying Amikacen with Rifampin. We'll do the Amikacen for a week (with urine samples and blood checks every 2-3 days) and the Rifampin for possibly up to 28 days. If those fail to clear the staph, then our only remaining option is to go back to Chlorafenacol for a few weeks. It's very frustrating to say the least.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:09 AM   #6
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I wonder if you have been given good instructions and training on how to prevent this bacteria from spreading to you and others. How long would it be viable on you and/or other surfaces in your immediate environment?

Our vet sent an e-mail saying to tell them if we were bringing in a dog with suspected influenza as they would examine it in the parking lot and not let a contagious animal in their facilty.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
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Thank you, Rita. We are still seeing our general vet although he mentioned the possibility of a referral to a specialist. We were in last week for another issue - ear infection - and the vet recommended that we start trying Amikacen with Rifampin. We'll do the Amikacen for a week (with urine samples and blood checks every 2-3 days) and the Rifampin for possibly up to 28 days. If those fail to clear the staph, then our only remaining option is to go back to Chlorafenacol for a few weeks. It's very frustrating to say the least.
I'd take him up on the offer. But before that, I would ask if he has contacted a specialist to review the case with him. Many vets have specialists they can call who will review the case and provide input.

If it were my dog, I'd be a little more precise with the GP. Ask for a referral to the specialist he has been working with on your dog's case (assuming he has). You want the specialist to see your dog and provide a treatment plan that your vet can follow. You want to be educated by the specialist about the prescribing technique(s) he/she recommends so you can partner with the GP vet by reporting observations and discussing what's happening.

I did this with a dog I had who had Cushings Disease. I like my GP vet, but felt the specialist was probably only getting the 'numbers.' Seeing the internist did result in a treatment plan that worked. Years later, she came back to my GP with a recommendation for a drug to help with a secondary condition my dog had. Worked like magic! All from one $140 consultation.

Hope this works out for you. At a minimum, it will reduce your frustration because now you are also aware of the details.

Rita
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:29 AM   #8
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I wonder if you have been given good instructions and training on how to prevent this bacteria from spreading to you and others. How long would it be viable on you and/or other surfaces in your immediate environment?

Our vet sent an e-mail saying to tell them if we were bringing in a dog with suspected influenza as they would examine it in the parking lot and not let a contagious animal in their facilty.
Interesting you should mention this because I've been very surprised that the vet hasn't said anything to us about transmission to other animals, especially at a vet clinic where there's more likely to be weakened immune systems and open wounds. But he hasn't said a word to us about it. When we brought our dog in on Friday, there were 2 others in the waiting area and they were trying to get a sniff of our dog. I told DW to keep our dog away due to the possibility of MRSP transmission.

As for spreading to us, it is rare that MRSP will spread to humans from animals although it is a possibility if we have open wounds or compromised immune systems.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Thanks again, Rita. We may need to look into the specialist recommendation more based on your story. Our vet has been consulting with other area vets as well as the 'drug docs' at a nearby state college which specializes in veterinary medicine. (He graduated from there.) But it still seems like he might be using a shotgun approach to resolving the problem.
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