COMMENT 28th March 2005
Into the ring flies another veterinary study into MRSA in pets, but with one vital difference. Transmission of the "superbug" from the general populace to their pets. According to Professor David Taylor, from Glasgow Veterinary School, MRSA transmission from dogs and cats to humans is "entirely possible", although there have been no documented cases.
He said: "The 20 cases identified came from animals all over the country, not just Glasgow. Most have been wounds found naturally or at operation which have become infected. Very few have come from other vet practices."
This column has duly noted and followed the case of Jill Moss and her struggle to prove responsibility for the infection, subsequent complications and death of her samoyed, Bella. In the 14th February issue we directly quoted an abstract of a study about the emerging problem of MRSA from the BSAVA website, published in the JSAP.
It seems that mentioning Jill Moss' case alongside this extremely pertinent study caused some confusion, as the question as to whether the dog itself or the owner could have caused infection provoked a sharp response. We would like to point out that the BSAVAs website extract did not pertain specifically to Bella's situation.
The question of responsibility is a contentious one, though it deserves reiteration that Veterinary Times' only aim is to highlight the issues, not to point the finger of blame.