Prevalence of oxacillin- and multidrug-resistant staphylococci in clinical samples from dogs: 1,772 samples (2001-2005)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Jan 15;230(2):221-7. doi: 10.2460/javma.230.2.221.


Objective: To determine whether resistance to oxacillin and other antimicrobials in 3 Staphylococcus spp commonly isolated from dogs increased from 2001 to 2005.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Sample population: 1,772 clinical samples of various types obtained from dogs examined at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital or at regional veterinary hospitals and submitted to the bacteriology and mycology laboratories associated with the teaching hospital.

Procedures: Samples were submitted by attending veterinarians to the bacteriology and mycology laboratories for routine aerobic microbial culture. Identification and antimicrobial susceptibility procedures were performed on all isolates. Susceptibility reports for each antimicrobial and Staphylococcus spp were determined from aggregate electronically archived test results. Oxacillin and multidrug resistance for Staphylococcus intermedius was analyzed by reviewing disk diffusion zone measurements.

Results: Oxacillin resistance increased among S. intermedius isolates during the past 5 years, and the increase was associated with multidrug resistance. In 2005, 1 in 5 Staphylococcus spp isolates from canine clinical samples was resistant to oxacillin. The most common staphylococcal species isolated were S. intermedius (n = 37), Staphylococcus schleiferi (21), and Staphylococcus aureus (4), and frequencies of oxacillin resistance in isolates of these species were 15.6%, 46.6%, and 23.5%, respectively.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Veterinarians should be aware of the potential for empiric drug treatment failures in instances where Staphylococcus spp infections are common (eg, pyoderma). Judicious use of bacterial culture and susceptibility testing is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / veterinary
  • Oxacillin / pharmacology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oxacillin