Our dogs are sources of joy and love, but even healthy and happy dogs have a slew of bacteria that should not be transferred to humans. A dog bite is a perfect way to transfer bacteria from the unaffected host to their unsuspecting victim. Staph infections, which are often passed around in hospitals from an affected person, can be acquired from a dog bite, and that can be a danger to everyone’s health.
What is a Staph Infection?
Staphylococcus (sta-fill-oh-KAW-kuss) is a type of bacterium with many species. The staph bacteria most commonly found on humans is known as S. (which is staph abbreviated) aureus. These bacteria are found on about a third of the population and are mostly harmless, often living in the nostrils or the throat. However, if they manage to squeeze into an open wound and attach to a cell, they can produce a range of diseases.
In some cases, S. aureus may be resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics medicine has available. This is often known as methicillin resistant S. aureus, also known as MRSA. MRSA has become a problem in most recent years because of its difficulty to kill and can be responsible for many extended stay hospital deaths.
How Can a Dog Bite Cause a Staph Infection?
Staph bacteria found on dogs are different from S. aureus, instead known as S. pseudintermedius (sood-enter-mee-dee-uss), which are also found in the dog’s nostrils and saliva. Around 22-69% of dogs are carriers of S. pseudintermedius and similar to S. aureus, is not harmful until it connects with a cell. A dog bite that breaks a human’s skin will transfer the S. pseudintermedius to the human, which can result in a serious staph infection.
Unfortunately, staph infections from dog bites are often mislabeled as staph infections caused by S. aureus. This is cause for concern since the testing to see if the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics is completely different. MRSP, which is methicillin resistant S. pseudintermedius, has similar symptoms as MRSA but has a very different treatment regimen. If you are bitten by a dog and develop boils, bone and joint pain, or nausea/vomiting, tell your doctor you were bitten by a dog and that they will need to test for MRSP instead of MRSA.
Were you bitten by a dog? The Advocates have skilled dog bite attorneys who have experience seeking compensation from the homeowner’s insurance from the owner of the dog. They can keep track of your medical bills and lost wages and receive it all back from the insurance company, as well as extra for your pain and suffering. You initial phone consultation is free and confidential so call now!