Fast Five Quiz: Dog and Cat Bites

Richard H. Sinert, DO


July 09, 2020

According to AAFP recommendations, although bite wounds may be closed if cosmetically desirable, wounds at high risk for infection should be left open. Antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended in high-risk bite wounds and should be considered for average-risk wounds. All cat bites are considered high risk for infection because they tend to be deep puncture wounds.

The AAFP recommends amoxicillin-clavulanate as first-line antibiotic prophylaxis in children and adults with animal bites. Alternative medications in adults include clindamycin, doxycycline, penicillin VK, a fluoroquinolone, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or cefuroxime plus either metronidazole or clindamycin. Azithromycin is recommended in pregnant women who are allergic to penicillin. Tetanus vaccination is recommended after an animal bite if it has been longer than 5 years since the patient has been immunized.

Read more about the treatment of dog and cat bites.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape Drugs & Diseases articles Animal Bites in Emergency Medicine, Pasteurella multocida Infection, and Rabies.

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