What Is Staph Infection In Dogs?

Staph infection is caused by the bacteria S. aureus, which can infect almost any part of the body. These infections have been known to be resistant to antibiotics, depending on where they’re located, and can be a serious threat to your dog’s health. The most common infection is that of the skin, where a cut, wound or scratch has let bacteria enter the body. If left untreated, serious Staph infections can progress to blood poisoning and death.


Symptoms of Staph Infections in Dogs

  • Pus in and around wound site
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Fever Weakness and lethargy
  • Atypical behavior
  • Severe pain at wound site
  • Abnormal crusting/scaling of wound site


  • Skin: pyoderma, dermatitis
  • Organs: metritis, discospondylitis, encephalitis, osteomyelitis, cystitis
  • Fascia: necrotizing fasciitis

Causes of Staph Infections in Dogs

  • Infected cut, scrape or wound
  • Contaminated material entering nose, mouth or eyes
  • Ingestion of contaminated material
  • Improperly sterilized medical equipment

Diagnosis of Staph Infections in Dogs

If you notice any fever accompanied by weakness or confusion, get in contact with your vet immediately. Once your dog catches a staph infection, it’s not possible for it to heal on it’s own.

If an infected red, infected wound or abscess that produces pus and causes your dog pain will be diagnosed as a staph infection. Swabs can be taken to identify the cause, but it’s not usually necessary as nearly all skin infections can be treated with topical and oral antibiotics.

Staph can also infect almost every major organ in the body. Urinary tract infections can be caused by staph, and will be evident through pain, bloody, cloudy, discolored or foul-smelling urine. Your vet may take a urine sample for testing.

In rare cases, Staph can infect the discs along the spine, or the bone itself. It can cause pain, fever, swelling and weight loss. If the inflammation compresses the spinal cord, your dog will have tremors and lack of coordination too.

In the rarest of cases, Staph can cause necrotizing fasciitis, a disease of the tissues holding muscles and organs in place. It progresses rapidly and might require surgery to remove the affected tissues or amputation of the limbs. It’s often fatal, but it’s extremely rare and unlikely to affect most dogs.

Treatment of Staph Infections in Dogs

Topical and possibly oral antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent the infection from spreading and kill the bacteria causing it. Topical cream should be applied until the wound has healed, and all oral antibiotics should be taken to make sure there’s no recurrence of the infection.

If the infection is internal, antibiotics as well as other treatments can be prescribed, depending on the case. Stents can be used to drain excess fluid, surgery, and removal of dead tissue might be recommended

Recovery of Staph Infections in Dogs

Give all medication as directed and keep your dog clean and comfortable, and the infection should clear up in just a few days, or a few weeks depending on the extent of it. If the infection is resistant to a prescribed antibiotic, multiple may be prescribed.

Internal infections can cause damage to organs and surrounding tissue, but in most cases, dogs can still have a good recovery with therapy prescribed by a vet.


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