To evaluate patterns of bacterial culture and antimicrobial susceptibility test results for dogs with retrobulbar abscesses and generate recommendations for empirical antimicrobial selection.
133 dogs examined between 2002 and 2019.
Records were retrospectively reviewed to determine type of bacterial culture, number and type of bacterial isolates, antimicrobial susceptibility test results, concurrent and recent antimicrobial exposure, effect of culture results on antimicrobial regimen, and outcome.
Aerobic culture alone was performed in 37 dogs, and aerobic and anaerobic culture was performed in 96 dogs. Isolates were recovered from 96 dogs, with multiple isolates recovered from 54 (56%) of those dogs. Of the 69 dogs for which both aerobic and anaerobic culture was performed and at least 1 isolate was obtained, 34 (49%) had purely aerobic infections, 15 (22%) had mixed aerobic and anaerobic infections, and 20 (29%) had purely anaerobic infections. Pasteurella spp (n = 26), Streptococcus spp (20), and Escherichia coli (12) were the most common aerobic isolates. Bacteroides spp (n = 22), Actinomyces spp (10), and Fusobacterium (10) spp were the most common anaerobic isolates. Susceptibility test results led to changes in the antimicrobial regimen in 37 of 80 (46%) dogs. Of the 76 dogs for which outcome information was available, 78 (97%) recovered.
Multipathogen and anaerobic infections were common in dogs with retrobulbar abscesses. Susceptibility data supported the use of amoxicillin-clavulanate or a combination of clindamycin and enrofloxacin as first-line treatments. Additional study is needed to characterize anaerobic antimicrobial susceptibilities and to compare results of susceptibility testing with in vivo responses to antimicrobial administration.