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August 21, 1981

Prophylactic Antibiotics and Dog Bite Wounds-Reply

Author Affiliations

Highland General Hospital Oakland, Calif

JAMA. 1981;246(8):834. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320080019009

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In Reply.—  I was most interested to read the letter and report of a study by Drs Elenbaas, McNabney, and Robinson. Their study of prophylactic oxacillin in dog bite wounds sounds well designed and well controlled, and I cannot argue with their conclusions. At the time of writing my discussion of the management of dog bite injuries, I did not have the results of this study available to me. However, I would agree with the authors that the differences are simply those of interpretation of the same data.Regarding my original study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, it is true that several observers provided follow-up evaluation, thus lessening uniformity of evaluation and management. High-risk wounds were indeed equally distributed between treated and controlled patients, as were other variables such as patient age and wound location. Although some clinically infected wounds were not recultured, these amounted to less than 10%.