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mrsa and allergies

October 1st, 2007, 06:01 PM
i have a 4 yr old neutered italian spinone. his name is cooper. he has been diagnosed with lots of different environmental and food allergies, and now all of that has been complicaed by being diagnosed with MRSA. he can no longer be treated with an antibiotic, because the one that might cure the mrsa nearly killd him. i have just started him on ATOPICA for the allergies, thinking that if we an just keep his skin intact, maybe the mrsa might subside. something i don't understand tho is, if the ATOPICA suppresses the immune system, doesn't that put him at more risk from the MRSA? des anyone have any ideas. meedless to say, i am desperate!

October 1st, 2007, 06:16 PM
I would think you are right about Atopica and the immune system, and how that might affect his ability to fight the MSRA. What does your vet say? There are apparently a few antibiotics that still can treat this .. are they all dangerous to your dog?

I found a website that may lead you to resources on MSRA in pets.

Good luck with this. It must be a very difficult thing for you to be dealing with.

October 1st, 2007, 06:32 PM
my vet says the atopica should help with the mrsa. i guess i don't know much about the immune system. what seems logical to me, that suppressing the immune system night make the mrsa worse, may not be the case at all. as for other antibiotics..........he has been on cephalexin on and off for 3 years. they said he was allergic to the staph on his body. they finally did a skin culture this summer. it is mrsa. there may be other antibiotics that might help, but at this point i don't think he is strong enough to risk trying it. i also think he is probably pretty resistant to any antibiotics right now, since he's been on them so long. do you atopica the same as human cyclosporine?

October 1st, 2007, 08:26 PM
Here's a thread on Atopica, where Dr. Lee explained what it was and how it worked. I think this will help with your question.

October 1st, 2007, 09:16 PM
thanks, but his reply really doen't answer the question whether suppressing the immune system makes fighting MRSA harder. at this point it may not matter, as we absolutely have to make him stop tearing his skin up! even a steroid injection didn't work.

thanks for your help. if you can think of anything, let me know.

October 2nd, 2007, 05:46 AM
I'm on the run right now but this is a really interesting ~ particularly since MRSA (for now anyway) fairly uncommon in companion animals. Hopefully I can pop back in tonight.

For folks unfamiliar with MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) you've heard about it as one of the "superbugs", it's found particularly in human hospitals, and inefctions are resistant to most antibiotics. Sadly, it can be fatal.

I hope your Vet spoke "long and hard" with you about the HUGE importance personal and home hygiene and taking personal precautions in dealing with MRSA in the home with your dog. If not this is a very thorough (hyper-vigilant!!) pamphlet:

Also wondering if in your reading you came across this article in the paper about a new form of treatment ~ it may be available to Vets now:

October 2nd, 2007, 08:18 AM
my vet didn't speak at all on the importance of good hygeine, but my dr did, and my husband and i have both tested negative for mrsa. not to mention, i have read every single piece of info on it that i can find. cooper (my dog), is no longer on an antibiotic, he is still mrsa positive, and still has 'wounds', but we are trying to keep them under control with colloidal silver. part of my dilemma right now, in addition to trying to get rid f the mrsa, is wondering if the atopica is going to compound this whole situation. i haven't a clue, at this point, what to do. there are too many issues going on all at once. if you, or anyone else, has any suggestions, i'm open to them. thanks.

mrsa in dogs (and cats) is really not as uncommon as some might believe. it's becoming almost epidemic in some veterinary practices. lots of vet technicians are now carriers. i think in order to help get this problem under control, more animal families need to be informed. 'knowledge is power.'

October 3rd, 2007, 08:16 PM
Well, compared to the prevalence of MRSA amongst the human pop. it's statistically uncommon amongst animals. But I couldn't agree with you more that it is an up and coming disease which will become extremely prevalent as animals are treated more frequently with antibiotics and hospitalized more frequently. Based on what I've read in the literature over the past two years I think the Vet and Animal Sciences world, particularly in the UK and Asia, is starting to look at this very seriously.

So here's my guess on the Atopica ...

While it seems counter-intuitive to address an immuno-compromised dog with an immune-mediated disease, by giving them a drug that suppresses the immune system, Atopica does not act globally, it suppresses only the part of immune system that says "I'm allergic and I'm itchy!". So, I'm thinking your Vet, by giving Atopica is working on the symptom of itchiness to reduce the scratching ~ which worsens the wounds, prevents healing, ties up the immune system with trying to heal rather than fight the bacteria and spreads the disease. With the healing of the wounds annd reduction of infection racing around it's body, your dog's immune system can focus solely on rebounding against the MRSA bacteria.

Maybe on your next Vet visit you could ask what their thinking is on using Atopica and let us know? And please also let us know if you find out anything about the nasal spray from the UK!

I think this is a REALLY important health matter. If you feel you could contribute your expertise, an article on MRSA for the Encyclopedia forum would be FANTASTIC .

October 3rd, 2007, 08:55 PM
thanks mumumum. the way you put it, it really does make sense about the atopica targeting only one immune response. i will sleep a little easier knowing that.

i have spent considerable time on the computer today trying to gather statistics on mrsa in companion animals in the united states. amazingly, there is precious little info compared to the info i can find on the uk and the netherlands, canada and other places. kind of makes me wonder, what is america trying to hide. i spoke with my county health department this morning, and they admitted they don't gather statistics on mrsa itself, just vancomycin resistant mrsa. and i do know that mrsa is becoming resistant to many antibiotics, not just methicillin and vancomycin. scarey, isn't it?

what started out as a desperate attempt to help my dog has kind of taken on a life of its own. when i can sort out all the information i am finding, i will be happy to share it. the human medical profession would like us to think that a large percentage of mrsa patients are contracting it from their animals........i tend to believe it's the opposite, that many veterinary staff do nt take necessary precautions. another thing that i think make people more suseptible is the antibiotics that are given to food animals, and by extension, this also make dogs and cats more suseptible, as much of their food come from the same sources. i'm thinking i might go hunting and feed cooper venison and squirrels.

i plan on contacting the bella moss foundation this weekend.

thanks for your insight. i'll post again when i know anything else.

October 3rd, 2007, 09:48 PM
... the human medical profession would like us to think that a large percentage of mrsa patients are contracting it from their animals........i tend to believe it's the opposite, that many veterinary staff do nt take necessary precautions. another thing that i think make people more suseptible is the antibiotics that are given to food animals, and by extension, this also make dogs and cats more suseptible, as much of their food come from the same sources. i'm thinking i might go hunting and feed cooper venison and squirrels..

Completely agree with you. I wish I had bookmarked a study done in ...Ireland I think... or :frustrated:was it Japan ~ totally underscores the human ---> animal transmission. It makes no sense the other way around given the widespread use of antibiotics amongst humans and the progression of MSSA to MRSA AND the increasing prevalence of CA now when at one time it was only known to be HA ~ to me it's a no-brainer. And what's more the mutations are happening way to quickly ~ the variety and volume of antibiotics prescribed to animals just isn't great enough to produce that kind of speed.

Oops, I just realized I've lapsed into acronyms and may have left some folks out of the loop. MSSA = methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus . HA= hospital acquired and CA= community acquired.

October 4th, 2007, 08:19 PM
we can add VA (veterinary acquired) to HA and CA.

no time now, but i'm very interested in continuing this discussion.

October 10th, 2007, 04:20 AM
Sorry ~ I've been MIA for a few days with Thanksgiving. :shrug:

While I've never come across anything beyond the anecdotal that demonstrates the efficacy of colloidal silver (CS), I do know that some people use it in conjunction with DSMO (Dimemthyl Sulfoxide). Again, I haven't seen any studies about DMSO and CS specifically but do know that DMSO is proven as a carrier for some drugs. If you are using CS topically, I believe you can also get DSMO in creme form ~ try a naturopath if you can't find it in a health food store. I worry about the CS and heavy metal toxicity ~ can dogs get argyria ?

October 10th, 2007, 07:50 PM
i did come across a study that showed the efficacy of colloidal silver. if i can find it again i will post the link. as for argyria, i'm sure if people can get it, digs can too, but from what i've read, it isn't dangerous, so i'm not really concerned about it. and i don't think he's get it from the dose i give him. i give it oraly and topically. it does seem to be helping. i have never heard of dimemthyl sulfoxide, but i will certainly research it and see if i think it is something that might be of help.


October 13th, 2007, 08:52 AM
Someone brought up honey in another thread which jogged my memory that I had read something about manuka honey as being effective in dealing with mrsa. Look for studies coming out of Waikato University in NZ.

October 13th, 2007, 11:27 AM
It was niggling at me so I dug up the paper that cited honey (yes, I do have a touch of that nasty OCD bug that's going around :rolleyes:) Here are the references:

Jones R. Honey and healing through the ages.. In: Munn P, Jones R, editors. Honey and Healing. Cardiff: IBRA, 2001.

Zumla A, Lulat A. Honey--a remedy rediscovered. J R Soc Med 1989; 82(7): 384-5.

Molan PC. The role of honey in the management of wounds. J Wound Care 1999; 8(8): 415-8.

Molan PC. The antibacterial activity of honey. Part 1. Its use in modern medicine. Bee World 1992; 80(2): 5-28.

Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding KG. The sensitivity to honey of Gram-positive cocci of clinical significance isolated from wounds. J Appl Microbiol 2002; 93(5): 857-63.

Cooper RA, Halas E, Molan PC. The efficacy of honey in inhibiting strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from infected burns. J Burn Care Rehabil 2002; 23(6): 366-70.

Cooper RA, Wigley P, Burton NF. Susceptibility of multiresistant strains of Burkholderia cepacia to honey. Lett Appl Microbiol 2000; 31(1): 20-4.

Tonks A, Cooper RA, Price AJ, Molan PC, Jones KP. Stimulation of TNF-alpha release in monocytes by honey. Cytokine 2001; 14(4): 240-2.

Tonks AJ, Cooper RA, Jones KP, Blair S, Parton J, Tonks A. Honey stimulates inflammatory cytokine production from monocytes. Cytokine 2003; 21(5): 242-7.

Bergman A, Yanai J, Weiss J, Bell D, David MP. Acceleration of wound healing by topical application of honey. An animal model. Am J Surg 1983; 145(3): 374-6.

Gupta SK, Singh H, Varshney AC, Prakash P. Therapeutic efficacy of honey in infected wounds in buffaloes. Indian J Animal Sci 1992; 62(2): 521-23.

Oryan A, Zaker SR. Effects of topical application of honey on cutaneous wound healing in rabbits. Zentralbl Veterinarmed A 1998; 45(3): 181-8.

Dunford C, Cooper R, Molan P. Using honey as a dressing for infected skin lesions. Nurs Times 2000; 96(14 Suppl): 7-9.

Natarajan S, Williamson D, Grey J, Harding KG, Cooper RA. Healing of an MRSA-colonized, hydroxyurea-induced leg ulcer with honey. J Dermatolog Treat 2001; 12(1): 33-6.

Cooper RA, Molan PC, Krishnamoorthy L, Harding KG. Manuka honey used to heal a recalcitrant surgical wound. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2001; 20(10): 758-9.

Moore OA, Smith LA, Campbell F, Seers K, McQuay HJ, Moore RA. Systematic review of the use of honey as a wound dressing. BMC Complement Altern Med 2001; 1(1): 2.

Allen K, Molan PC, Reid GM. A survey of the antibacterial activity of some New Zealand honeys. J Pharm Pharmacol 1991; 43: 817-22.