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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18669
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My husband is in the hospital with initial diagnosis of left

Customer Question

My husband is in the hospital with initial diagnosis of left lower lobe pneumonia (not severe) Then a diagnosis of 2nd infection that the Drs. are calling MSSA.They say it has a canine component and think that my husband's dog licked the open wound on his feet and gave it to him. He is on vancomycin, rochephrin and another antibiotic. Then they switched him to another and he suffered a bad reaction. Have you heard of a dog causing this kind of problem? He seems to be getting better and when he is discharged he is to come home on an infusion antibiotic. Please let me know what we should be expecting. Can I get this from him? The pneumonia is better - he ran a temp of 103. Thanks you
C. Brown
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.

It will help if you could provide some further information.

MSSA refers to methicillin sensitive Staph aureus, which is a common form of Staph that is frequently on the skin of humans, so usually does not indicate any other exposure.

Were any other germs grown on cultures?

Was the doctor able to culture the same germ from an infected wound on the foot as was grown from the pneumonia?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.

I had asked for some further information and have not heard back.

The information that you have provided does not raise any suspicion about an infection from a dog. MSSA is a common germ to cause a variety of infections, including pneumonia, and it does not indicate any exposure to a dog. The most common risk factor for a pneumonia from MSSA is as a secondary infection following certain viral infections, including the flu.

It is possible that there is other clinical information that would raise suspicion about a dog exposure, but that is why I asked for additional information.

As for the risk to you, there is no reason for you to be concerned about being exposed to him when he returns home. The risk of transmission of pneumonia is already relatively low, because there are many defense mechanisms to prevent transmission. And in addition, by the time that he is able to return home, the antibiotics would already have gotten a good amount of control over the germs growing in his infection, so even the low risk is further diminished.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.