My dog has MRSP! What does that mean?

Does your furry friend have a skin infection that just doesn’t seem to respond to ANYTHING your vet prescribes?  Has your friend been on a few different antibiotics?  Is the skin infection spreading all over your friend and your friend is uncomfortable? WELL IT’S TIME FOR A SKIN CULTURE!!!

Trust me, this is the best thing to do….I know about this personally….I almost lost all my hair because of MRSP….I’m 14 and my immune system isn’t up to par….my friend Quincy also has this problem.  I’m hoping that this blog can help Quincy find a foster home AND help other furry friends who might have resistant skin infections as well….these skin infections aren’t the end of the world, they just need more progressive care….COME SEE MY MOMMA!  My momma and her staff at Union Park Veterinary Hospital have now successfully treated 5 cases of this IN THE PAST MONTH!!!

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) IS BECOMING VERY PREVALENT DUE TO INDISCRIMANT/”SHOTGUN” ANTIBIOTIC USE in older and immunocompromised pets! 

This bacteria was previously known as Staphylococcus intermedius (MRSI).

MRSP is NOT the same as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which affects humans.


MRSP rash and sores on the belly.



Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the most common species of bacteria found on dogs. Usually, this bacteria resides on the skin but does not cause any problems.

However, some dogs develop a skin infection (pyoderma) that can usually be cleared with one of the common antibiotics.

A small percentage of dogs may develop skin infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP), which means that the more common antibiotics will not clear the infection.

This bacteria is most common in pets with recurrent skin infections due to underlying causes such as allergies, endocrine diseases, or other reasons for immune compromise (old age, cancer, etc).


Close up of some skin sores.



Staphylococcus pseudintermedius causes infections in pets and only rarely causes infections in people.

However, because this is a more resistant bacteria than the usual bacteria that infects pets, we want to decrease the chance of it being transmitted to you or your family.

The most important thing that you can do is frequent hand-washing after touching your pet and always before meals.

If you or family members are immune compromised, you should either avoid direct contact with your pet or thoroughly wash your hands after handling.

Remember, the risk of transmission to humans is very low. If, however, you develop a non-healing skin wound, please see your physician.


Megan loving on Quincy.

Megan one of our tech’s said “I can love on and interact with Quincy all day. I give her a bath every other day, put ointment on her rash and sores, and scrub her wounds with my bare hands and then just wash them and go home to my pets who don’t have it, and haven’t gotten it because I wash my hands thoroughly.”



The best thing we can do to treat MRSP in your pet, is aggressive topical therapies. It is very important that you follow treatment instructions exactly as given to you so the infection will be cleared.


Quincy’s basic plan.



  1. How did my pet get MRSP?

Similar to human medicine, resistant bacteria are becoming more common in veterinary patients.

We see this bacteria most often in patients with a history of recurrent skin infections and previous antibiotic use.

In order to prevent future infections we will work with you to identify and control the underlying cause (allergies, endocrine disease). We must control the underlying cause in order to reduce skin infection recurrence.

  1. Can my other pets catch this bacteria?

Pets that live together share bacteria. Thus, other dogs or cats in the home may be colonized with MRSP.

As long as the other animals have no underlying diseases that predispose them to skin infections, then the bacteria should not cause problems.

If other pets develop skin lesions, then examination by your regular veterinarian and possible skin culture should be performed to determine if MRSP is the cause.


Quincy says “you can still love me with MRSP!”

There you have it! Dogs that get MRSP, (like me and Quincy) can still be loved and because our humans washed their hands, they didn’t get it and we can be cured of this pesky bacteria!  Remember, any non healing skin wound needs a proper work up which includes a skin culture…not just more oral antibiotics…..

Straight from The Dog’s Mouth,

Love, Sequoia

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