Is a Dog’s Staph Infection Contagious To Humans?

Dear Dr. Weaver,

I recently adopted a male Westie mix from a local shelter. As suggested, I took him to my vet just to make sure he was healthy. Magnum had a rash on his back leg, and after careful examination, the vet concluded that he had a Staph infection.

She gave me some antibiotics and ointment to treat him. I know that humans can spread Staph infections, but can I get it from my dog? Can my other dogs get it from him?

Thanks in advance,
Summer

Dear Summer,

There are many species of Staph bacteria. While there are contagious species, most Staphs are normal inhabitants of the skin that cause infection only if the skin is not normal, such as the skin of dogs with allergies.

The most common species to cause a rash in an allergic dog, such as a Westie, is not contagious to anyone. With this dog, you will likely have non-contagious Staph infections periodically. I would not be concerned.

-Dr. Weaver


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