• antimicrobial resistance;
  • therapeutics;
  • morbidity;
  • empirical antibiotics



To determine the proportion of airway bacterial isolates resistant to both empirically selected and recently administered antimicrobials, and to assess the impact of inappropriate initial empiric antimicrobials selection on length of hospital stay and survival to discharge in dogs with bacterial pneumonia.


Retrospective study.


University veterinary teaching hospital.


One hundred and eleven dogs with a clinical diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia that had aerobic bacterial culture and susceptibility testing performed from a tracheal wash sample.



Measurements and Main Results

Overall, 26% (29/111) of the dogs had at least 1 bacterial isolate that was resistant to empirically selected antimicrobials. In dogs with a history of antimicrobial administration within the preceding 4 weeks, a high incidence (57.4%, 31/54) of in vitro bacterial resistance to those antimicrobials was found: 64.7% (11/17) in the community-acquired pneumonia group, 55.2% (16/29) in the aspiration pneumonia group, and 50.0% (4/8) in the other causes of bacterial pneumonia group. No statistically significant association was found between bacterial isolate resistance to empirically selected antimicrobials and length of hospital stay or mortality.


The high proportion of in vitro airway bacterial resistance to empiric antimicrobials would suggest that airway sampling for bacterial culture and susceptibility testing may be helpful in guiding antimicrobial therapy and recently administered antimicrobials should be avoided when empirically selecting antimicrobials. Although no relationship was found between inappropriate initial empiric antimicrobial selection and length of hospital stay or mortality, future prospective studies using standardized airway-sampling techniques, treatment modalities, and stratification of disease severity based on objective values, such as arterial blood gas analysis in all dogs with pneumonia, would be needed to determine if a clinical effect of in vitro bacterial resistance to empirically administered antimicrobials truly exists or not.