The infected dog or cat bite is a common problem, particularly in pediatrics. These infected bites can produce moderate tissue destruction, and, if on the face or neck, disfigurement may result. Careful debridement is indicated; and, unless primary repair is necessary for cosmetic reasons, the wound should not be sutured.
Although a variety of organisms have been cultured from infected bites, Pasteurella multocida is the most common. Since P. multocida is extremely sensitive to penicillin, the prophylactic use of this antibiotic in potentially disfiguring wounds should be considered. In the already infected animal bite wound, penicillin or one of its analogues is recommended.