What is the role of lab studies in the workup of animal bites?

Updated: Sep 18, 2018
  • Author: Alisha Perkins Garth, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Fresh bite wounds without signs of infection do not need to be cultured. Infected bite wounds should be cultured to help guide future antibiotic therapy.

Other laboratory tests are indicated as the patient's condition dictates (eg, complete blood cell count and blood cultures for patients with sepsis).

If Capnocytophaga canimorsus sepsis is suspected, examine the peripheral smear for the organism, a bacillus.


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