Staphylococcus (called staph for short) is a common type of bacteria that can live safely on animal and human skin in normal conditions. However, certain conditions, such as cuts, allergic reactions or parasite bites, can weaken your dog’s immune system, making it easier for the bacteria to multiply and thrive.
Staph infections are more likely to occur in young dogs and old dogs, since their immune systems are generally weaker. Some dogs are allergic to staph. This condition, known as staph hypersensitivity, will mean that a dog might suffer from chronic staph infections despite treatment.
Staph infections often manifest as crusty skin lesions on the stomach, but they can also show up on other areas of the skin, or in the form of bumps, pustules or scabs. They can even cause a bullseye rash, odors and patches of hair loss. Your dog will likely suffer from itching and pain from a skin infection brought on by staph — and if left untreated, the infection can spread.