Fast Five Quiz: Pets and Human Health Risks

Richard H. Sinert, DO


May 27, 2022

According to AAFP recommendations, tetanus vaccination is recommended after an animal bite if it has been more than 5 years since the patient has been immunized. 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.

The AAFP states that postexposure rabies prophylaxis is generally not necessary in patients with dog or cat bites, provided the animal is not showing signs of rabies (eg, inappetence, dysphagia, abnormal behavior, ataxia, paralysis, altered vocalization, seizures).

Take a quiz on dog and cat bites.


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