Objectives: To determine the efficacy and safety of cefovecin in the treatment of bacterial skin infections in dogs.

Method: Dogs with superficial or deep pyoderma or wounds/abscesses were enrolled in three separate studies. Dogs (354) were randomised to treatment and received either cefovecin administered by subcutaneous injection at 14 day intervals, as clinically necessary, or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid as oral tablets twice daily for 14 days. Courses of treatment were repeated at 14 day intervals up to a total of four courses. Clinicians responsible for assessing lesions were masked to treatment allocation. Only animals where the presence of a pretreatment bacterial pathogen was confirmed were included in the analysis of efficacy. Cases were evaluated for clinical efficacy at 28 days after initiation of the final course of treatment. Clinical efficacy was assessed by scoring the clinical signs typical of skin infections.

Results: Cefovecin demonstrated statistical non-inferiority compared with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid for all three clinical diagnoses; for cefovecin, up to 96·9 per cent efficacy was observed versus 92·5 per cent for amoxicillin/clavulanic acid.

Clinical Significance: Cefovecin was shown to be as effective as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid administered orally in the treatment of bacterial skin infections in dogs. Cefovecin offers the additional benefit of eliminating owner non-compliance.