Dog bite wounds in cats: a retrospective study of 72 cases

Sigal Klainbart*, Anna Shipov, Ori Madhala, Liron D. Oron, Tomer Weingram, Gilad Segev, Efrat Kelmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Bite wounds are a common cause of trauma in cats; nevertheless, large-scale studies of this trauma in cats are lacking. The aims of the present study were to characterise the clinical and clinicopathological findings in these cats, to assess the association of these variables and therapeutic measures with survival, and to assess the association between the animal trauma triage (ATT) score and severity of injuries score (SS) at presentation with survival. Methods: The medical records of cats presented to a veterinary teaching hospital and two large referral clinics were reviewed retrospectively. Results: The study included 72 cats diagnosed with canine bite wounds (with the dog attacks having been witnessed). Seventy-one percent of cats suffered multiple injuries, and there was a significant association between the number of injured body areas and survival, and between severity of injury and survival (P = 0.02 and P = 0.012, respectively). The median ATT scores and SSs for non-survivors were significantly higher compared with survivors (P <0.0001). There was a strong and significant correlation between ATT scores and SSs (r = 0.704, P <0.0001). Total protein and albumin were significantly lower and alanine aminotransferase significantly higher in non-survivors compared with survivors (P ⩽0.032). Fifty percent of cats were treated conservatively, 32% by local surgical debridement and 18% of cats required an exploratory procedure. Cats undergoing more aggressive treatments were significantly less likely to survive (P = 0.029). Fifty-seven cats (79%) survived to discharge. Conclusions and relevance: Cats sustaining canine bite wounds have a good overall prognosis for survival to discharge. High ATT score, high SS, multiple body area injuries, penetrating injuries, radiographic evidence of vertebral body fractures and body wall abnormalities, as well as hypoproteinaemia and elevated alanine aminotransferase, are negative predictors of survival.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Trauma
  • animal trauma triage
  • canine bite wounds
  • injury
  • severity injuries score
  • Cats
  • Cat Diseases/diagnosis
  • Hospitals, Animal
  • Bites and Stings/therapy
  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases
  • Dogs
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triage


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