Bite Wounds - Dr. Thomas Lundberg

by Dr. Thomas Lundberg, MD 21. June 2014 12:00

 

Bite wounds, specifically from cats, dogs, and humans, can be very prone to infection.  The risk of an infection is highest after cat bite wounds, and all authorities agree that preventative antibiotics ought to be started promptly.  Dog bites do not have near the risk of infection, and therefore, some authorities recommend watchful waiting in lieu of preventative antibiotics.  In my practice, I feel that the risk/benefit ratio favors starting a preventative antibiotic after a dog bite.  Human bites to the hand obviously occur during fighting, either from an individual being bitten, or sustaining a hand wound from punching a tooth.  Human bite wounds are unique, in that infection tends to occur 5-6 days after the wound is sustained.  These infections tend to advance rapidly, so preventative antibiotics are the key to avoid a serious infection.  The antibiotic of choice for all bite wounds is Augmentin.  Augmentin is in the penicillin family, and therefore, there are other options for those that are penicillin allergic.

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