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how does a puppy get a staph infection, how is it transferred to humans, does being allergic have anything to do with it,

Posted by mswebb

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If you're referring to Staph aureus, these bacteria are very common in animals and people as well as common in the soil. In the past, they were more likely to create problems with younger animals because they lacked a fully developed immune response. Even though many adults harbored the bacteria and could pass it on, they showed no clinical signs themselves.  Since the 1950s, however, there's been an increase in antibiotic-resistant S. aureus infections to the point this has become a problem in animals and humans alike. Some strains originated in hospitals, but others can be found in nature. The latter are believed to be the result of antibiotics in the water from human waste treatment plants and run-off from farms using these drugs.

Animals can transfer the bacteria to humans and humans can transfer it to animals. The two primary causes of infection in humans is the same as with many other micro-organisms: failure to keep the animal and his/her area clean and to thoroughly wash one's hands after doing so as well as after handling the animal.  People who have such infections should also wash their hands thoroughly before handling an animal. Young animals and older ones whose immune responses aren't quite up to par are at particular risk. Because allergies result from an over-active immune response and  because some of the drugs used to treat them suppress that response, allergies could be a factor.

This is the kind of problem where it's easy to spend a lot of time playing the blame game: did the animal give it to the person or did the person give it to the animal? But that's not going to help the pup or any folks who also are infected. The best approach to prevent such infections will prevent a lot of other ones, too: pay scrupulous attention to routine cleanliness and to use antibiotics only when truly needed.  If infection occurs, follow your veterinarian's and physician's treatment directions to the letter, wash your hands before and after handling the puppy, and keep the animal's area scrupulously clean. 

And above all, don't panic. That won't help anyone of any species and could undermine the immune response even more.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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