You were walking down a neighboring street when you suddenly found yourself fighting off a stray dog. In the fight, the dog’s tags fell off, but it fled. You see that the tags have an owner’s name and phone number, but there’s no other information.
You call for emergency help and head to the hospital. The police take the information and get in touch with the owner. It turns out the dog has not had its rabies or tetanus vaccines. What does that mean for you?
Medically speaking, the first thing you may need to have is a rabies vaccine if the dog isn’t found. If it is, then blood samples can be taken to see if the dog is infected before you need to receive the vaccines. In this case, it would be better to err on the side of caution and to receive those vaccines.
Tetanus is another major concern if you have not received a tetanus vaccine in the last several years. Usually, doctors advise you get a tetanus shot every 10 years. However, if you don’t know when your last shot was or have not received a booster recently, it may be advisable to get a booster regardless of your vaccination history.
Caused by clostridium tetani, a bacteria, tetanus is often fatal if left untreated. It often enters the body through puncture wounds and produces a toxin that can result in death as it builds up in the body. Tetanus causes the body to go through muscle contractions and spasms that generally occur within 14 days of the initial infection.
After you go through all these medical procedures and others to treat your wounds, you may want to pursue a claim against the dog’s owner. Your attorney can help you file the correct documentation to begin a claim.