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Have been bitten by dog. Applied betadine and neosporin. Have taken tetanus injection. Should I worry?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 6181 Questions
Two days ago my dog accidentally bit my finger. While I was giving her a small amount of chicken from my fingers, she accidentally bit into my forefinger, a somewhat deep puncture wound - blood initially spurted from the wound. Fortunately, after I cleaned wound (which is small size cut) I applied betadine, and also neosporin frequently. There was some pain & small amount of swelling. Now, there is no pain and the area is healing nicely. My only concern is about tetanus. My last tetanus shot was April 2011, app. 2 1/2 years ago. My pharmacist and the ER dept (though I didn't speak to doctor) said that the tetanus shot is still good. I wondered if the tetanus shot would be good, no matter about the wound. My dog plays in dirt sometimes- she is an indoor and outdoor dog, but I am told the tetanus shot is good anyway. What is your opinion regarding the protective ability of the tetanus booster (tetanus toxoid) given to me 2 1/2 years ago, regardless of the wound? Thank you for your reply. (Note; I knew how to care for puncture wound-I'm a RN- currently not practicing at the moment.)
Posted Wed, 11 Dec 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: You are protected no need to worry. Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. From the information you have provided, you are protected against tetanus. Generally, after 5 tetanus shots you are protected for life. An added booster dose 21/2 years ago makes it even more reassuring that you should not get too concerned about that at this time. Dog bites often raised the concern of rabies if the dog is not vaccinated. Please, check and make sure that you dog has been appropriately vaccinated against this as it is universally fatal after infection. I hope this answers your query fully. Thank you for using our services and please do feel free to ask for further clarifications if need be. I wish you well. Dr. Ditah, MD
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