« Best. Dog. Halloween. Costumes. Ever. | Main | Don't surrender the power of 'no-kill' »

24 October 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sharon H

C, I was thinking about this the other day. Obviously, staph is transmitted somehow. Is Kyrie being walked where other dogs walk? Possibly where folks don't clean up after their pooches? Is she sniffing hydrants, trees, etc? Your own mailbox?

Sounds like paranoia but I liken it to what you asked the specialist about the groomers. Maybe Kyrie didn't get it there but rather is picking it up outside during her walks. But it seems to me that transmission at the groomers would be the same as transmission on her walks and around your yard.

Other things I've thought of: have you washed everything she comes in contact with? Like bedding, your bedding, sterilize her dishes (no plastic). Does she scratch her face against the hallway woodwork or anything silly like that? Anyplace she might "goo" up in the wonderful way that dogs can.

I know when my kids get sick, I turn into the queenie of cleaning everything with bleach so it doesn't spread.

I'm so very sorry this is happening to you. I so wish there was some magic wand I could wave. But try to take yourself out of the box and maybe that will help you get to the root of the problem or at least find out where it came from so you can avoid it in the future.

Prayers for you.



Davis gets my vote. Years ago I spent a small fortune on a dog at the dermatologist. He was unwilling to accept that the dog might have a GH or castration responsive alopecia because his presentation and breed were "wrong" He finally referred me to UCD. It was CRA and neutering was curative. The comment of the the specialist at Davis was he didn't care what the breed was or what the literature said, he knew what it was, thank you very much. He told me that individual dogs and their individual diseases are what they are and that trying to make something "fit" is often of less concern than making it better.

I've had a few more of my dogs into UCD over the years and brought in rescue dogs too. My experience has been that it's a lousy place for routine things, but where you want to be when answers are hard to come by or thing go odd. There are few places around where your dermatologist can walk down the hall to consult with a endocrinologist and an immunologist on their way to lunch, and sometimes that's exactly what is needed.

If you go, I hope you have the same good results with Davis that we've had.


Christie, just tried to comment on my overall good experiences with Davis but it seems to have gone poof....

Sharon H

C, I posted last night and it's gone into the either as well. Just had some thoughts on Kyrie and ??s about where she might have picked up the infection.

Can you find the post?

Colorado Transplant

Have you tried an immune booster like interfuron? My cat got it when she had an herpes flare-up. Just a small idea, and I know I might not be on solid ground.

Interfuron is used for cancer patients of the human kind, also.


Perhaps also bathing/soaking Kyrie in something like the human OTC Betadyne microstatic solution or soap solution would help? I'd ask the vet first of course. I'd try that a couple times and all over if the vet permits.

If I thought that she was re-infecting from resistant MRSI from her own skin, then I'd be intent on killing all staph/strep on her skin in a couple washings, with the thought that if her environment is clean then any bacteria she is reexposed to probably won't be the MRSI resistant type.

Anne T

Please put a pillow between your head and the wall. You are too valuable an asset to us to lose to voluntary brain damage, self inflicted or otherwise.

I am so sorry there was no easy answer for you and Kyrie. Go to Davis. That's easy for me to say, since I am not paying the bills, but that's what I would do if she were mine.

Christie Keith

It was caught in the spam filter, but I just liberated it!


Thanks, I am having a bad typing/spelling day and dreaded doing it again!

Christie Keith

Sharon, I found your post and set it free as well.

Kyrie isn't being re-infected. What's happening is that a certain amount of the staph on her body have become resistant to most drugs. She may have initially picked up the resistant strain at her groomer, or it might literally have been part of her normal skin staph population for years.

When they culture humans, a certain percentage of their normal bacteria are of resistant strains. That percentage gets higher and higher all the time, and you and I probably have a fair number of resistant staph bugs ourselves, right now -- MRSA, in our cases. But it's not exactly that we're "catching" these strains, but rather that when we do get staph or other similar infections, as most of us do from time to time, they don't respond to the things we normally do to treat them, because they are resistant.

Staph does not live very well in the general environment, but rather in and on the organism (in this case, Kyrie). Totally eradicating all strains of resistant staph is impossible at this point -- one study on human MRSA found that FORTY PERCENT of all the staph cultured off surfaces like doorknobs in public buildings were resistant.

No, the real question now is, why is the staph getting out control at all, since a normal immune system should keep its numbers low enough not to cause illness. It's not really possible to do a scorched earth treatment and eliminate every single staph bug in a dog or human's body; the body simply has to get healthy enough to keep them from reproducing in great enough numbers to cause symptoms.

Rebel's bladder infection, however, was different, because urine is supposed to be sterile; you not only CAN eradicate bacteria from the bladder, that's its normal state. So we don't need to look for an underlying cause for his bladder infection, because the bugs just crawled up his urinary tract from his skin, and voila: UTI. That's how all bladder infections work. The only issue there is that it took a $1445 drug to wipe the staph out, because of the resistance.

All that said, of course I washed every single surface in the house, used real high-pressure steam on the upholstery and carpets (not an extraction cleaner -- the kind of steam that you get from an espresso machine), bathe them both in 10 percent tea tree shampoo, laundered on hot/hot every single sheet, quilt, dog bed cover, and blanket, threw out her clippers and all grooming implements, bought new ones and now have two sets, one for him and one for her. NONE of this probably matters much, other than the grooming implements, but it made me feel better.

Christie Keith

I looked at published studies on what topicals kill MRSA (none done on MRSI) and found that tea tree solutions were more effective than the medical products. So that's what I'm using... with my vet's knowledge and blessing.

Anne T


Just a thought and probably not a good one, but have you and Kyrie tried acupuncture to help build up her immune system?

Christie Keith

No, she's had it in the past but not lately. There's really no sign her immune system needs building up, exactly -- this is the first time in her life she's been sick and she's nearly 10. I still believe there is something more specifically wrong with her, and if possible, I'd like to know what it is. :(

But I'll talk to my acupuncture vet about it.


Article about new MRSA antibiotics:



Hang in there, Christie. We are all rooting for you and Kyrie to beat this thing.

D Garner, CTC

Keep us updated on what's going on. You've done an amazing job taking care of Kyrie, I'm anxious to hear what happens next.

The comments to this entry are closed.