Knowledge of the bacterial species present when dealing with an infectious condition will be very helpful in selecting an appropriate antimicrobial and therefore culture and sensitivity testing is often indicated. If this information is not available, a combination of cytology and a knowledge of which pathogens are likely for a given situation may help in selecting an appropriate antimicrobial. Some sites of infection have predictable common bacterial species, for example Staphylococci in canine pyoderma.3 Knowledge of the site of infection may also suggest whether bacteria are likely to be aerobic or anaerobic, for example abscesses are likely to involve obligate and facultative anaerobes.3


Suggested antimicrobials for skin infections*

Clindamycin7,3, 8,83


Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid7,3, 8,83

Doxycycline in cats3



Cefovecin if compliance is an issue83

Fluoroquinolones if other treatments are inappropriate83


Topical antiseptic or antimicrobial treatment may be sufficient for mild, surface or focal infections, and will also hasten clearing of more severe infections.8 Culture and sensitivity testing is advisable for deep pyoderma.83


Common bacterial pathogens in pyoderma

Dog: Staphylococcus pseudintermedius 3,8,9

Cat: Streptococcus spp. Pasteurella spp.and Staphylococcus spp.3,9


Common bacterial pathogens in bites and abscesses

Dog: Staphylococcus spp. Streptococcus spp. Pasteurella spp. and anaerobes.3

Cat: Anaerobes, Pasteurella spp. and Actinomyces spp.3


*Suggested antimicrobials are based on references from scientific literature and may not necessarily reflect UK market authorisations for the relevant species or condition. Veterinary surgeons are advised to carefully check the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) before prescribing a product.


Disclaimer:  Indications and doses may vary between products.  The antimicrobials listed may constitute an off licence use of the product and as such should only be used according to the ‘Cascade’, further details of which are available on the RCVS, VMD and NOAH websites.  Veterinary surgeons are advised to carefully check the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) before prescribing a product and obtain informed owner consent where required.