Treating mammalian bite wounds

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2000 Apr;25(2):85-99. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2710.2000.00274.x.


The incidence of dog, cat and human bites has been increasing steadily and represents an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Approximately half of all Americans will suffer a bite wound during their lifetime, and the annual medical costs of managing these injuries has been estimated to be over $100 million. Possible complications may include disfigurement, dismemberment and infection. Effective management requires rapid medical evaluation and may necessitate surgical intervention and prophylactic antibiotic therapy. As bite wounds are microbiologically diverse and most often polymicrobial in nature, selection of an appropriate antibiotic regimen requires knowledge of common pathogens. Close clinical follow-up is recommended to minimize the risk of late complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Bites and Stings / complications
  • Bites and Stings / drug therapy*
  • Bites and Stings / microbiology
  • Bites, Human / complications
  • Bites, Human / drug therapy*
  • Bites, Human / microbiology
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Triage
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents