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Bitten by dog, bleeding, at risk of rabies. Should I seek out prophylaxis or wait and see?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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I was bitten by a dog yesterday. It wasn't a very serious injury, was able to stop the small amount of bleeding that did occur. I wasn't able to contact the owner of the dog, and with such a small wound I didn't feel it necessary to involve law enforcement. I left the matter at that, but now I am wondering what complications I should be concerned about. I am aware of the risk of rabies, but with no law enforcement involved I may not be able to have the animal quarantined. Should I seek out the prophylaxis anyway, or wait and see? Also, I would like to know what signs I should be aware of regarding infection and tetanus. Thank you.
Posted Sun, 29 Jul 2012 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashwini Kolur 28 minutes later
Hello
Thanks for your query.

I will try my best to provide you with best possible professional recommendations to your questions.

As you have mentioned it is difficult to observe for period for 10 days. I would like to know whether the animal exhibited any abnormal behavior or the bite was unprovoked. If yes you should go for post exposure prophylaxis, if no you can consider it.

As you have mentioned you had small amount of bleeding and also you dont have much information on the dog like whether it is vaccinated or not, exhibiting any abnormal behavior it is better to go for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

PEP consists of 4 doses of vaccination. I advice you to XXXXXXX the GP for examination and vaccination.

Yet again, I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query.

Hope i have cleared your queries. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Bitten by dog, bleeding, at risk of rabies. Should I seek out prophylaxis or wait and see? 20 hours later
I was a stranger on what the dog would consider its territory, so its completely understandable for the dog to attack me. I would consider that being provoked. The dog didn't exhibit any other abnormal behavior. If the bite does become infected (I wasn't able to clense the wound promptly as I was in a very small town with no pharmacy and I didn't have a first aid kid with antiseptic), what symptoms should I be aware of and concerned about?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashwini Kolur 25 minutes later
Hello
Good to hear from you.

It is important to know the dog's immunization status. If the dog has not been immunized, the question becomes whether to immunize the patient against the rabies virus.

The wound should be examined washed with running water then with antiseptic solution, if not available at least with soap.

As you don't have information about dog. The symptoms of dog bite are variable and difficult to predict. It is better to see doctor and to go for post exposure prophylaxis.

Hope i have cleared your queries. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.
Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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