When a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is resistant to methicillin and other beta-lactam type of antibiotics, they are referred to as methicillin-resistant Staph aureus, or MRSA.
Staphylococcus aureus, also called Staph aureus or S. aureus, is a common bacterium and normally it does not cause illness unless the body becomes immnuno-compromised like in cases of illness or injuries, in which case the bacteria becomes opportunistic and cause an infection. Carriers of Staph aureus may seem perfectly healthy unless they become immune-compromised. This is referred to as colonization. Dogs are normally not the carriers of Staph aureus; however, if exposed to a carrier the dog can become infected or colonized as well.
Typical symptoms of MRSA would include fever, discharge from a wound, skin lesions, skin swelling, and slow healing wound. MRSA infections are mostly seen to affect skin and other soft tissues resulting in skin infections and abscesses. This can also cause post-operative infections of surgical wounds and secondary infections of wounds originating from other causes. Although rare, but MRSA can also infect the dog’s urinary tract, ears, eyes and joints.