Unfortunately, research has shown the emergence of a potentially life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections shared between pets and human handlers. MRSA infections are especially difficult to treat because they do not respond to the usual antibiotics. Most common are skin, soft-tissue, and surgical infections. MRSA infections in pets are often acquired from their owners and can may even cycle back and forth between pets and humans. Because they are drug-resistant, minor infections can easily turn into serious conditions like sepsis.
So, what does this all mean to you? First of all there is no need to panic. Second of all, don't banish your dog from the house. MRSA is not easily transmitted through normal contact - it is usually contracted through bites or scratches. Take measures to prevent dog bites, wash your hands frequently and keep your dog healthy. If you do get bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical attention right away.
Cats can be affected by MRSA infections, too. Read about cats and MRSA from Cats Guide Franny Syufy:
Skin Infections Linked to Cat Bite, Scratches
Learn more about MRSA infections from Veterinary Medicine Guide Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM:
MRSA and Pets - Infection Connection
Poll: Will the threat of MRSA change the way you interact with your dog?