In dogs with snakebites does the use of antimicrobials compared to no antimicrobials reduce incidence of wound infection?



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PICO question

In dogs with snakebites does the use of antimicrobials compared to no antimicrobials reduce incidence of wound infection?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research


Number and type of study designs reviewed

Seven case series.

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

Three studies looked at the incidence of wound infection in envenomated dogs, three compared antimicrobial use to mortality and one compared other outcomes, such as time in hospital. The incidence of wound infection was low in the studies and overall antimicrobials seemed to have no significant effect on outcomes such as survival or wound infection. Therefore, the routine use of antimicrobials for snakebite treatment is not supported by the results, however further studies are required to provide conclusive evidence.


There is currently insufficient evidence from literature to either support or reject the use of antimicrobials in the treatment of snakebites.


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


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Vol. 8 No. 3 (2023): The third issue of 2023

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  /  Exotics  /