Dog or Cat Bite

Dog or Cat Bite

Routine Practices

Assess need for tetanus vaccine ± tetanus immune globulin, rabies prophylaxis

Prophylaxis is recommended for patients who are:

  • Immunocompromised
  • Asplenic or who have:
  • Advanced liver disease
  • Preexisting or resultant edema of the affected area
  • Moderate to severe injuries, especially to the hand or face
  • Injuries that may have penetrated the periosteum or joint capsule

Common Pathogens

Empiric Treatment Infants and Older Children



  • In cases where anaerobic coverage is not required


  • In cases where anaerobic coverage is not required

Duration of Therapy

  • Prophylaxis: 3-5 days

  • Treatment: 7-10 days

  • More severe cases or bite wounds associated with bacteremia may warrant longer durations. Consult ID

More Information

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Jul 15;59(2):147-59; J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Mar;78(3):641-8