Should a dog with MRSP be spayed?

 

5This is an increasingly common question, as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP – essentially the canine version of the high-profile human “superbug” MRSA) has expanded greatly in the canine population. As more dogs get MRSP infections and even more become inapparent carriers of this bug, more dogs that are carriers will need surgery (both elective and non-elective).  Since MRSP is now a leading cause of surgical site infections in dogs, there’s concern about what to do with these carriers, particularly when it comes to elective surgeries like spays and neuters.

My answer to the question is… maybe.

If the dog has an active MRSP infection (e.g. skin infection), I’d say “hold off for a while” if possible. I don’t like elective surgeries being done on animals with active infections (this applies to almost any kind of infection, not just MRSP). If an animal has an active MRSP infection, it might increase the risk of the surgical site becoming infected because of the greater overall burden of MRSP on the skin and elsewhere.

If the dog doesn’t have an active infection (e.g. is a healthy carrier after having gotten over a previous MRSP infection), I’d say “go ahead.”

Here’s why:

  • Spay-associated infections are quite rare.
  • We don’t use antibiotics prophylactically (i.e preventatively) for spays (or at least, they shouldn’t be used for this kind of low-risk procedure – unfortunately some people still use them inappropriately).
  • MRSP is no more likely to cause a spay infection than methicillin-susceptible S. pseudintermedius. It’s just harder to kill when an infection occurs.
  • Methicillin-susceptible S. pseudintermedius can be found on almost all dogs.

So, if infections are rare, despite the fact that S. pseudintermedius is present on pretty much all dogs and that we don’t use drugs to kill S. pseudintermedius during (or after) spays, there should be no added risk of infection by the antibiotic-resistant version of this bug.

Every dog is carrying lots of different bacteria that can cause an infection at any time. That’s why we use a variety of surgical antisepsis practices (e.g. clipping, scrubbing, sterile instruments, proper operating room) to help prevent a critical number of bacteria from getting into the sterile surgical site where they can start to cause problems.

This strategy doesn’t necessarily apply to surgeries where antibiotics are used prophylactically and where staph are the main causes of infection, especially in situations like orthopedic procedures where MRSP infections are common and can be very hard to treat. What to do in those cases with an MRSP-positive animal is a tougher question, and we’re working on an answer to it at the moment.

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In order to keep your pet protected, call us to schedule an appointment for their vaccines! 310-734-0176

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How my Dog’s Food Impacts His Energy

pets_171A dog’s activity level is greatly impacted by his weight. Sadly, 53 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, making this the number one nutritional disease affecting our dogs today. We also know that three out of four overweight puppies will grow up to be overweight dogs, and experts say that by nine months of age, we can tell whether a puppy will be obese.  Wow, that’s heavy stuff (pun intended!).

The good news is that you can help your dog get on the right track and stay there by simply feeding him a high-quality, well-balanced diet from the time he’s a puppy! By doing so, you’ll ensure your pup has the energy he needs to run, play and maintain a healthy weight, and in turn, enjoy a healthy life.

When choosing a food that will give your dog the energy he needs to stay active and healthy, there are a few key ingredients to look for:

  • High quality fats from poultry or meat to provide sustained energy
  • Healthy grains that provide a good usable source of carbohydrates to help maintain a healthy blood glucose level for exercise and provide short term energy
  • Natural fiber and prebiotics to aid in digestion

It’s also important to make the necessary adjustments in your dog’s calorie intake as they mature from puppy to young adult, mature adult and ultimately to a senior.

I feed my dogs IAMS dog food and recommend it to many of my patients because it’s made with ingredients that help keep my dogs healthy throughout life. In addition to the healthy energy it provides, it also helps keep their coat shiny and their digestion regular.

With a high quality food and a healthy eating regimen, your dog will have the energy to play, join you on long walks and hikes and truly be man’s (most fun) best friend!

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Is Your Dog Stressed?

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Pet Surgery Preparation:

The days leading up to pet surgery can be stressful for both you and your pet, but there are steps you can take to prepare your pet and ensure the very best outcome. The main idea is to keep your pet calm and as healthy as possible leading up to surgery, and follow all instructions given by your Los Angeles veterinarian.

Pre-Surgery Fasting: This ensures that, should your pet experience nausea from anesthesia medications, vomit will not cause your pet to choke or inhale vomitus, which can lead to potentially deadly aspiration pneumonia. The number of fasting hours before surgery varies. Exceptions can occur if your pet is diabetic or very young. Diabetic pets may need to drink water and take their usual insulin. Kittens or puppies may be allowed small meals the morning of surgery. Follow your   veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Ask About Water Intake: Most veterinarians allow pets to drink water during the evening before surgery, so that they don’t become dehydrated. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to be certain.

Pet Medications: Ask your vet if your pet should take usual medications or skip them on the morning of surgery.

Arrive Early: This helps eliminate pre-surgery stress that comes with rushing. It also gives you time to sign pre-surgery paperwork and for your pet to receive any needed pre-surgery testing.

 Pet Surgery Recovery Preparation

Prepare A Home Recovery Area: Find out if you’ll need to confine your pet during recovery. Create a quiet spot, put up a child gate in the doorway or prepare the pet crate as directed by your veterinarian. Wash pet bedding to give your pet a clean, comfortable place to rest after surgery.

Pick Up Supplies In Advance: Get post-surgery meds, special diet and care supplies in advance. This way you have everything needed to care for your pet after surgery, rather than rushing out right away, after bringing your pet home.

If your pet needs surgery, or just a routine health exam or vaccinations, contact our Los Angeles veterinarian. Call Century Veterinary Group at 310-734-0176 today.

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Fat or Fit?

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5 Common Household Poisons

pets_170Chocolate and Other Human Foods

As a general rule, do not feed your pets any human foods unless a veterinarian approves the food. Many foods, like chocolate, raw onions and garlic, grapes and raisins, and sugarless foods containing Xylitol can be toxic to animals.

Medications

Medications may poison a pet dog or cat. Most human, and even pet, medications are poisonous when taken in a high dose. Do not allow your pet to access any prescription or over-the-counter medications and only give your pets an approved dosage of medicine when necessary and recommended by a veterinarian.

Insecticides

An insecticide is a poison designed to kill insects, so it is not surprising that it may harm or kill your pets. Since a pet may ingest the poison by licking an area of the floor with the poison or by eating poisoned insects, it may cause harm. It is particularly risky for smaller pets who may show signs of poisoning with small amounts of exposure.

pets_169Plants

Certain indoor plants, like tulips, sago palm, some ferns, lilies, Crocus, dieffenbachia, and Oleander are dangerous to your pets. Do not put up indoor plants without discussing the risks and health concerns with a veterinarian.

Household Cleaners

Household cleaners, like bleach or floor cleaning products, are dangerous when ingested. Limit pet exposure by keeping cleaners in a safe location and preventing pets from access to rooms while you clean.

When to Call a Los Angeles Veterinarian about Pets and Household Poisons

Seek help from a Los Angeles veterinarian at any time you think a pet may be poisoned. Never wait when you suspect accidental poisoning from household items.

Protecting your pet starts with effective management of their health and well-being. Call (310) 734-0176 for more information.

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