MRSA - is it a problem in the kennels?

Trevor Turner, B. Vet. Med., MRCVS

First published in May/June 2005 Edition

Few readers will be unaware of the risks posed by MRSA (methacillin resistant Staphylococcal aureus) to people in hospital no matter whether undergoing major surgery or because they are ill.

Recently there have been reports of MRSA affecting animals, in particular one case highlighting the sad loss of a dog following surgery for a torn cruciate ligament.

Is this bacterium - labelled by the media "superbug" - really a threat to our pets and, furthermore, are our cats and dogs likely to infect (or re-infect) us? Kennel personnel are probably in contact with a greater number of supposedly 'healthy' dogs and cats than any other segment of the population, including vets, therefore I thought it would be worthwhile outlining the present situation and discussing whether the average boarder poses any threat.

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