Animal and human bites

Clinical features


Animal bites

The majority of bites seen in everyday practice involve dogs and cats. These are generally polymicrobial but the most common isolated organism is Pasteurella multocida.

  • cleanse wound. Puncture wounds should not be sutured closed unless cosmesis is at risk
  • current BNF recommendation is co-amoxiclav
  • if penicillin-allergic then doxycycline + metronidazole is recommended

Human bites

Human bites commonly cause multimicrobial infection, including both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

Common organisms include:
  • Streptococci spp.
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Eikenella
  • Fusobacterium
  • Prevotella

Co-amoxiclav is recommended, as for animal bites.

The risk of viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis C should also be considered.