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Barking up the wrong tree? A survey of dog bite wound management
  1. M R Smith1,
  2. A Walker2,
  3. J Brenchley3
  1. 1Emergency Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Emergency Department, Airedale General Hospital, Skipton, UK
  3. 3Emergency Department, Barnsley District General Hospital, Barnsley, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A Walker, Emergency Department, Airedale General Hospital, Skipton, UK; 


Objectives: Several trials have been published examining the role of antibiotics in dog bite wound management. A meta-analysis of these suggests that there is very little benefit to routine antibiotic prescription in these patients. All papers however incorporated rigorous wound care regimens involving large volume irrigation.

Methods: The authors undertook a telephone survey to investigate wound care and prescribing practice in bite wound management in accident and emergency and minor injury units in the Yorkshire region.

Results: Twenty one departments were contacted. Only 10% of departments routinely irrigate these wounds. Antibiotics are prescribed routinely in 71%.

Conclusions: Management of dog bite wounds would not seem to be evidence based in most departments in this sample.

  • dog bite
  • wounds

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.