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dog to human staph?

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  • dog to human staph?

    Last night I groomed an elderly dog that I am pretty sure has a staph infection over a good portion of her body (I did not finish the grooming and told the owner she needed to see a vet before I could finish). I was talking to my husband about it and he was concerned that I could possibly get it from the dog. I disinfected everything in the van and used hand sanitizer on myself until I could get home to shower. I decided to do a web search to see if my husbands concerns were justified and have found conflicting answers. Most information I have found has said no humans can not get it from their pets, but there were a few that said it can happen.

    So can anyone give me any insight on this? I'm not overly concerned as I did make sure everything and I mean everything was disinfected, but I'd still like to know

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  • #2
    I once had a staph infection on my skin (wasn't grooming at the time, so it couldn't have been from dogs). I went to the doctor and I think he gave me both a creme and an oral antibiotic. It went away really quick, and I didn't have any scarring or pain or anything.

    He told me that strep and staph (and other types) bacteria reside on the skin at any given time. I think he said at any time over 1/2 of the population could be swabbed and have these bacteria on their skin. He said that every once in awhile, due to a variety of reasons (low immune system, open wound, etc) you could get a skin infection, but that most of the time the skin does it's job and protects your body from these illnesses.

    I also at one time was realllllly into ceramics. What is clay? Clay is rotting dirt. It is filled with bacteria. Our instructor warned us that if we were already sick, or had cracked dry skin or whatever, that it was important to wash really well (and/or wear gloves) when working with clay.

    I would think that the situation with the dog would be similar to these two cases. Wash to be safe and don't worry about it. I like to use a product called Odor Handler (made by coat handler) if I have a dog with skin problems. It kills bacteria, fleas, yeast, fungus, etc and really helps to get the skin/coat really clean on dogs that are gross (like cockers!). Having it on my hands, and the dogs, makes me less worried about catching anything.


    • #3
      There are some bacteria that may be host specific, but most are not. About half of the pets tested recently had MRSA colonies on their skin, for example. And while MRSA is of primary concern to humans, pets can become infected. But you're pretty safe, so long as you don't have any open wounds and wash exposed skin (mostly your hands and forearms) after handling the pet.

      Your skin is your first, and probably most important, defense against bacterial infections. But if the skin is broken, or irritated, bacteria can get a foothold, and you could become infected.

      Kdickerson, your information is fairly inaccurate. We ALL have bacteria on our skin. It's just part of the normal flora and fauna of skin. Whether we get infections or not depends on a variety of things; the type of bacteria, our general health, immune system strength, and intact skin for examples.

      So, to answer the OPs original question, yes, it's possible to contract a bacterial infection, including staph, from a dog.


      • #4
        I once got staph on the backside of my leg, right under my behind. I felt like it was from sitting on the floor @ work while drying the big dogs, we have nowhere else to dry them and it kills the back to lean over for that long! That floor is almost always damp and dogs are dried on it all day every day. Anyway, that is also an area that I don't see on a regular basis, ok almost never, not to fond of looking at my rear w/ no clothes on! So I didn't catch it right away, and it got pretty big, about 3" in diameter. The only way I found it was it started hurting so bad I couldn't sit on that part. The doctor had to lance it and put me on antibiotics. He had said that if I could have gotten it opened up and draining sooner, I wouldn't have needed the antibiotics. Well, I couldn't see it, didn't know it was there, certainly could hardly reach it to try to open it up. Probably a month later I got another one about 1" away from the first one and shortly after that I got ringworm in just about the same area. Needless to say I can't imagine where else I'd be getting it. That area is right where my shoe contacts my leg when I sit down cross-legged, which is how I sit while drying a dog and is the only time I sit like that. I have been told that the best protection is just to be able to wash the area right away w/ soap and water. That those things will always be on your skin and it really only causes a problem when you get them in an open area of your skin. I think my skin was just so fragile in that area after the first go round that it easily caught more issues. I now shower just as soon as I get home, instead of waiting til right before I go to bed.
        I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


        • #5
          Thank you for the replies everyone. I'm not concerned about getting it as I did use hand sanitizer on my hands and arms before I got home and showered as soon as I got home. I also made sure to disinfect the entire van. I talked to the customer last night and he had an appointment with the vet today. I haven't heard from he yet tonight so I hope things went ok. The dog is 16 or 17 years old and already had some other health issues, so I'm a bit worried about her.