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Spencer's "spider bite" is MRSA.
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20 August 2011
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29 September 2011 - 11:14 am
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the culture results came back as MRSA .  He had the surgery to have it removed 2 days before starting chemo (a dose ove adria and cytoxan that day).  They had said that the chemo might slow the healing; but that there was more risk in holding off on the chemo.

Today we went in to get his stitches out from that surgery.  We headed into Atlanta for chemo, then went to our family vet on the way home.  I was also concerned because there was still fluid in the wound, though the incision looked clean - NOTHING like it had looked before surgery.  The vet removed the fluid and said she was concerned that there was so much (it was an entire syringe that she pulled out, looked like blood to me...).  She made a slide and looked at it and said it does look like infection still; but it must not be as bad since his skin isn't doing what it was doing.  She sent is doing another culture; but also is sending it off for "fluid analysis with cytology" just to make sure it has nothing to do with the cancer.  We are thinking (hoping) that the chemo is just really slowing the healing and that it isn't anything serious.  He is going on 14 days of cipro in the mean time.

Oh, and a question... his temp was 103.  It had them a little concerned considering the chemo.  How worried should I be about that?

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:

29 September 2011 - 11:23 am
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Wow- Spencer is really, really due a break!

Someone here was dealing with that in their tripawd, but I can't remember who right now.

My instructions from our oncologist was to call them whenever Maggie's temp was over 102.5 which I think is the top of the normal dog temp range.  I think it would be worth a call to the chemo place.  Obviously you worry about infection when the immune system is suppressed by chemo- and if he still has an active infection you would want to jump on it sooner than later.


Can you take his temp at home?  I used to take Maggie's all the time, but then she was all of 17.5 lbs.


Karen and the pugapalooza

29 September 2011 - 12:09 pm
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I remembered who it was with MRSA .... it is Bud, posts as 'anjl'. 

HERE is a link to the first post about Bud- some information in there about MRSA .  Bud's sounds like it was a bone infection.



Member Since:
10 February 2011
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29 September 2011 - 1:36 pm
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Oh NOOOO Spencer! I am so sorry to hear this….

Yes it was Bud and we had quite the battle for many months with the MRSA

Please do call your vet about the fever and MRSA diagnosis. I do not want to scare you but I want you to know how very serious this is. If left untreated or not treated properly the MRSA can cause pneumonia, affect his organs and be FATAL.

Please go online to the Bella Moss MRSA Foundation, they have lots of information you can download. If you have questions contact them and the will find resources for you.

The culture will be grown out for 5 days to find out what antibiotics may be used. We only had 4 drugs and the MRSA mutated and lost sensitivity to one of them. While figuring this out, Bud got bronchitis and was very ill. Later, Bud had a secondary skin infection after the bone infection and he almost had to be hospitalized and given IV meds.

He required long term treatment and it was rather expensive.

 Cynthia, Isabelle's mom is also very knowledgeable about MRSA and treatment.

Please PM me if there is anything else I can do to help and support you!

Bud's mom

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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29 September 2011 - 1:54 pm
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Oh Spencer, you cannot catch a break. I hope they can easily fix you up!

I don't have any experience with this, but wanted to say we are sending pawsitive thoughts and healing Abby kisses!

Jackie, Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 September 2011 - 2:06 pm
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Oh you poor kid! I'm so sorry but at least you know what you're dealing with now. Ugh!

Bud was the first pup I thought of so you're in good company here, don't hesitate to contact his Momma with questions. I wish I could help but I don't know much about dealing with it. Please keep us posted and let us know what you learn, so that someday if someone else  needs info they can find it here too.

Feel better Spencer!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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29 September 2011 - 2:39 pm
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OH NO.  This is just so utterly unfair!!!!  I'm so sorry for Spencer. 


You can PM Cynthia, Isabelle's mom.  Her user name is littlemanjake.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Chris Willis
29 September 2011 - 3:11 pm
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My dachshund, Ro, was diagnosed with a MRSA infection in his bladder. He picked it up after extended catheterization following back surgery, and it went undiagnosed until the infection caused a build-up of bladder stones, requiring a second surgery.

A MRSA infection is resistant - that does NOT mean untreatable, but especially difficult for someone with a suppressed immune system. It requires dilligence and testing. My Ro went on an extended round of antibiotics, with testing every 2 weeks until he had two negative tests in a row, then a confirmation 6 weeks after that. In his case, the draws were taken directly from the bladder to ensure we got a clean sample. The lab that diagnosed the MRSA recommended the best antibiotic to use, and another test was done to make sure.

While undergoing treatment, we were advised of the importance of avoiding exposuring Ro to young children, seniors, or any people who might have a suppressed immune system - especially in cleaning up any puddles. It's been over three years, and Ro is doing very well, and continues to test negative for bladder infection.

 It is important that Spencer be treated, and under careful watch until you are sure the infection is gone. Coincidentally, I had a spider bite myself three weeks ago that blew up into cellulitis in my ankle. That's gone now, too, after two weeks of strong antibiotics!

Chicago, IL
Member Since:
5 March 2011
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29 September 2011 - 5:50 pm
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Oh Spencer, it's a good thing you are such a toughie.  I know you'll get the best of care and will work through this.  Hang in there!  We're all rooting for you!
August 16, 2006 to November 28, 2011
TATE ~ Forever in our hearts.

Member Since:
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29 September 2011 - 7:52 pm
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Thanks so much for all of the information.  The vet said that the results came back as MRSA and with Cipro being the right medicine for him to be on.  At this point we don't know if he still has MRSA ; but they do have him back on cipro...


How will they continue to test for it?  Will it always be them trying to draw fluid from the spot on his side?


I was thinking about calling our pediatrician in the morning and asking if I need to do anything preventative for the kids.  would that be me being a crazy mom?


Spencer has LOTS of beds.  He has one in his kennel, one in the family room, one in our bedroom, one in the car, one in the game room at the cabin, one in the family room at the cabin and one in our bedroom at the cabin.  The one in my car I bought after he started the first round of cipro.  The 3 in this house I sprayed down with lysol while he was having his surgery.  Today I took the covers off of those, washed the covers in hot water, detergent and bleach and I sprayed the insides down with lysol again.  I had planned to do the same thing with the beds at the cabin this weekend (he and I haven't been to the cabin since this all happened).  Is doing this with the beds enough or do I need to throw them all away and get new ones (considering we are talking 7 beds for a large dog... that isn't cheap; but it is cheaper than more surgeries!).  do I need to worry about the one in the car too even though I bought it after he had been on cipro for about 5 days (and after the surgery to remove the necrotic tissue)?

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:

Member Since:
10 February 2011
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29 September 2011 - 9:35 pm
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First I just want to let you know that I shared about Spencer with my young daughter tonight and at bedtime she said a prayer for him and she asked me to tell you that she will continue to do so.

Next if you go to the Bella Moss website there is a link that has directions on how to care for a MRSA dog at home. While he has an open wound you should try to keep him isolated as much as possible and on a surface that  you can clean with a bleach solution. It is possible for MRSA to be shared back and forth from human and animals. There is also a link about this. Your family can be cultured. But as Chris Willis suggested it is mostly people with immune disorders such as leukmeia and HIV that really need to stay out of your home.Clean the kennel and all of the surfaces you can with the bleach solution. Keep your kids away from any kind of leakage or bandages. You certainly can contact your ped dr if it gives you piece of mind. There is a nose swab culture they can do.

The lab also recommended the short dose of meds for 3 week for Bud's infection. I asked then if that was enough because my gut told me it wasn't. I was reassured by the "specialist" that yes this was the "proper course of action" and it was not a big deal cause they see it all the time in the big city. Well  a big NOT to that! If you happened to read the forum link you can see how Bud continued to falter. My small town vet ended his consulting with the "specialist" and went to the vet university for further advice. I think we both thought that someone just didn't want be sued and was dismissing our suspicions.  Just like Ro, Bud also ended up on an additional 8 weeks of antibiotics and a topical spray. We also had to have checkups with the vet every 2 weeks.

People doctors are not always sure how treat folks with MRSA and vet medicine is further behind. Cynthia sent me a link that was also on that forum post that showed the latest protocal for treating people with MRSA . It recommended a long term course also.

I dont want to make you anxious but I do want to help you get the tools you need so you can be the best advocate for Spencer that you can be.

From my family to yours....we are thinking of you guys!

Bud's mom

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20 August 2011
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29 September 2011 - 9:44 pm
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thanks so much for all of the advice!  I did read the link to your original post about Bud.  Man.  I'm getting so overwhelmed - between the heart condition, the cancer, the chemo and now this.  and all the while, Spencer seems FINE.  maybe a little more tired than normal; but basically himself!


I'm going to call our vet tomorrow to ask about a longer course of antibiotics, though he also goes on them for a week every 3 weeks from the chemo.  So he will be due to start another round when he finishes this round...  But I need to make sure that whatever he is on is also going to cover THIS!  And I also want to find out about the topical.  Though his wound is pretty healed at this point.  2 stitches had come out and those have a scab that is almost healed; but the rest of the incision is completely healed.


I was reading that this stuff can live on a dry surface (though it survives better in dust and stuff like grout) for 12 MONTHS!!!

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:

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29 September 2011 - 9:45 pm
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and thanks for the prayers.  At this point we can use all of the prayers we can get!!!

Jac and Angel Spencer.  Spencer was 5.25 years old. He fought a grade 3 fibrosarcoma, started on his shoulder.  Left front leg amputated in August 2011.  15 weeks of chemo finished 12/22/11 (mytox and adria).  Lung mets found on x-rays 12/28/11.  Started carboplatin 1/6/12. Went to Heaven on 2/27/12. I miss him like crazy every day.  See his blog here:

Member Since:
1 February 2011
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29 September 2011 - 11:30 pm
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Here's hoping that Spencer gets the break he deserves... And you too!!! You sound like you could use it!

Micki and Rio

the Woo

~ ~ Rio ~ ~
Forever in my heart...

April 2000 – January 20, 2012
Diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer in June 2007. Left rear leg amputated Feb. 8, 2011.
Mets discovered Aug. 31, 2011. Read more of Rio's story here.

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10 February 2011
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30 September 2011 - 2:01 pm
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Please do continue to post and update as possible!!!

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