Impact of appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy on outcome of dogs with septic peritonitis

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Abstract

Objective

To determine whether appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy influenced survival in dogs with septic peritonitis.

Design

Retrospective case series (2003–2011).

Setting

University teaching hospital.

Animals

Eighty-six dogs with cytological confirmation or positive bacterial culture of abdominal sepsis and subsequent surgical intervention.

Interventions

None.

Measurement and Main Results

Forty-nine of 86 dogs (57%) survived to hospital discharge. Thirty-seven of 86 dogs were classified as having “abdominal infection,” 31/86 as “severe sepsis,” and the remaining 18/86 as in “septic shock.” Mortality was greatest in the “septic shock” category (94%). Empirical antimicrobial treatments were appropriate in 41/78 dogs (52.6%). Appropriateness was not associated with treatment outcome overall or when compared between sepsis severity groups. Antimicrobials had been given in the 30 days before admission in 63/86 (73.3%) dogs. Prior therapy with antimicrobials showed no association with outcome (P = 0.512) but was associated with subsequent inappropriate empirical antimicrobial selection (P = 0.031). Recent abdominal surgery was associated with subsequent inappropriate empirical antimicrobial selection (P = 0.021).

Conclusions

In this population, appropriateness of empirical antimicrobial choice was not associated with survival to discharge. Previous antimicrobial administration or abdominal surgery was associated with subsequent inappropriate empirical antimicrobial selection.

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