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I've Been Bitten By A Dog! Should I Worry?

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  • I've Been Bitten By A Dog! Should I Worry?

    Hi all! Yesterday, while walking my dog I bumped into my neighbor walking hers and started chatting. My 8 yr old Golden is sweet, as Goldens usually are, her 9 yr old Rhodesian mix is a bit fearful and protective. Next thing we knew, dogs were locked in battle, I yelled "stop" and all was well. But, of course, when I physically separated them, Rhody bit my hand. Luckily, it's fridgid here and I had thick triple insulated gloves on, so all I got was a bruise and one teeny scrape, not larger than a mosquito bite of broken skin on my hand. Of course, I'll double check that her dog has had a rabies vaccination....but should I even worry? The dog's saliva didn't come in contact with my skin, the tooth was enough pressure against the glove fabric to barely scrape and bruise my skin. I saw nothing on Golden's thick skin & hair, thank God.

    BTW...the girl is 6 months pregnant with her first child. I think having a known agressive & biting dog in the house is NUTS. She obviously can't control her dog (she sweetly said "st-op" and I had to coach her to bark. One syllable) sad to think of what type of parent she'll be.

  • #2
    I would make sure you clean it out with alcohol really well. If it gets warm, red, swollen at all, I would go to the doctor/ER, wherever you can go first. Since the saliva didn't touch you, you should be okay, but you can never be too careful with animal bites.

    Comment


    • #3
      Go to the nearest emergency room right now. You need a tetanus shot and they will make a report to animal control and the health department. I don't care how nice or clueless the owner is rabies is a problem everywhere, and I wouldn't take anyone's word about their dog's vaccination history--and how do you know the dog is actually up to date on rabies shots anyway? It's not work risking your life (last I heard there were 3 or a few more people that have survived rabies in the history of the world) not to offend someone who is obviously in denial about her dog. They will only quarantine the dog, so don't worry about them killing the dog for testing. Even a scratch can be dangerous-all it takes is one drop of saliva, and why take any chance at all.

      If you are still reading this, stop reading and go to the emergency room right now!!!
      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TikiSoo View Post
        Hi all! Yesterday, while walking my dog I bumped into my neighbor walking hers and started chatting. My 8 yr old Golden is sweet, as Goldens usually are, her 9 yr old Rhodesian mix is a bit fearful and protective. Next thing we knew, dogs were locked in battle, I yelled "stop" and all was well. But, of course, when I physically separated them, Rhody bit my hand. Luckily, it's fridgid here and I had thick triple insulated gloves on, so all I got was a bruise and one teeny scrape, not larger than a mosquito bite of broken skin on my hand. Of course, I'll double check that her dog has had a rabies vaccination....but should I even worry? The dog's saliva didn't come in contact with my skin, the tooth was enough pressure against the glove fabric to barely scrape and bruise my skin. I saw nothing on Golden's thick skin & hair, thank God.

        BTW...the girl is 6 months pregnant with her first child. I think having a known agressive & biting dog in the house is NUTS. She obviously can't control her dog (she sweetly said "st-op" and I had to coach her to bark. One syllable) sad to think of what type of parent she'll be.
        Its a good thing you had gloves on. A dog that size could have really inflicted some damage. Any time there is a break in the skin, however small, you should definitely check on the rabies vaccination status of the dog.
        I would without delay report the dog bite to the authorities. In most states a dog is "allowed" one bite and after that they can be taken. IN this case I would think reporting hte bite is very important as she is pregnant, has no control of the dog and likely no knowledge of properly training it. A bite to a baby could mean death. Please report the bite. You were lucky, the next one may not be.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JanM View Post
          Go to the nearest emergency room right now. You need a tetanus shot and they will make a report to animal control and the health department. I don't care how nice or clueless the owner is rabies is a problem everywhere, and I wouldn't take anyone's word about their dog's vaccination history--and how do you know the dog is actually up to date on rabies shots anyway? It's not work risking your life (last I heard there were 3 or a few more people that have survived rabies in the history of the world) not to offend someone who is obviously in denial about her dog. They will only quarantine the dog, so don't worry about them killing the dog for testing. Even a scratch can be dangerous-all it takes is one drop of saliva, and why take any chance at all.

          If you are still reading this, stop reading and go to the emergency room right now!!!
          This is why we are required by law to take our dogs to a vet and have their rabies done and register our dogs with the town. This way we are not taking just someones word the dog has had their rabies shots. IT is documented by a vet and on record with the town. Just a phone call or two will tell us whether they are up to date or not. And yes, I totally agree on the seriousness of being bit.
          This week two cows came down with rabies here. The farmer now recalls their dog killing a coon in the barn a week ago. 8 workers have already consumed raw milk from one of these cows. Health dept says it is very,very rare for someone to get rabies from raw milk but IS possible and thus these workers are now being treated.

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          • #6
            You'll be fine. If you hand was gloved, and the glove was not penetrated you have nothing to worry about. Of course you could over-react by listening to all the silly stuff that is written here. You might do your friend the favour of having a discussion about her future with an aggressive dog.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
              You'll be fine. If you hand was gloved, and the glove was not penetrated you have nothing to worry about. Of course you could over-react by listening to all the silly stuff that is written here. You might do your friend the favour of having a discussion about her future with an aggressive dog.
              A friend almost lost a hand to a cat bite that barely broke the skin between her thumb and first finger.
              Cat bites are much worse than dog bites, but still, all bites can be dangerous.

              By the way, the cat was rabid and she had to take those shots, along with spend some time in the hospital on IV's for her hand infection.

              Don't take any chances, let the Drs at the emergency room tell you what you have there and how to proceed, or if to go home.

              By the way, watch your golden when around other dogs, because so many of them are clueless about personal dog space and will get in the face of a less friendly dog, without meaning anything, not believing the signals of "leave me alone" and cause fights.
              A very good article about this can be found on Suzanne Clothier site, that you have to subscribe for, it is free and you can find all kinds of excellent dog training articles.
              This one is called: "He just wants to say HI!"

              http://flyingdogpress.com/index.php

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                You'll be fine. If you hand was gloved, and the glove was not penetrated you have nothing to worry about. Of course you could over-react by listening to all the silly stuff that is written here. You might do your friend the favour of having a discussion about her future with an aggressive dog.
                Agreed...you'll be fine..and better to have a heart to heart with her than to make her defensive with contacting the authorities.
                "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

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                • #9
                  You should be fine.

                  If you scraped your hand doing barn chores you would have the same chance at loosing your hand. There is ALWAYS a chance. If you cleaned it well then its not a big deal. Make sure the dog had rabies shots. If not the dog will have to be quarantined in its house.

                  My hubby got bit badly at a JRTCC trial this year (trying to catch a scared and loose JRT) Multiple DEEP wounds. He had to go to emerg. He was due for a tentus shot so he got one.

                  Running to the emerg with a nick because a dog caused it (cats are a bit different.. human bites are just as bad or worse than cat bites) is part of what makes the bite stats so high, and fuels the media.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                    A friend almost lost a hand to a cat bite that barely broke the skin between her thumb and first finger.
                    Cat bites are much worse than dog bites, but still, all bites can be dangerous.

                    By the way, the cat was rabid and she had to take those shots, along with spend some time in the hospital on IV's for her hand infection.

                    Don't take any chances, let the Drs at the emergency room tell you what you have there and how to proceed, or if to go home.

                    By the way, watch your golden when around other dogs, because so many of them are clueless about personal dog space and will get in the face of a less friendly dog, without meaning anything, not believing the signals of "leave me alone" and cause fights.
                    A very good article about this can be found on Suzanne Clothier site, that you have to subscribe for, it is free and you can find all kinds of excellent dog training articles.
                    This one is called: "He just wants to say HI!"

                    http://flyingdogpress.com/index.php
                    You are sooo right about the cat bites. It is because of feline pasteurella virus. When my four girls were small their doctor told me to ALWAYS bring them in to be checked each time they were scratched, bit by a cat because of the extremely high amount of such that will end up infected because of pasteurella and he was right. Many times this was the case.

                    I am amazed at the ppl here who are willing to risk life with something as serious as rabies. Unbelievable. It isn't something you can recover from once you get it, why would someone take that kind of chance. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to report the bite at all. From the thread on the baby-dog bite it seems to me some value their dogs life more than human life. I love my dogs and my children but my child gets bit , they can be sure it will not happen the second time. As a parent that is my responsibility. Period, no if ands or buts about it. I don't care what the kid did, if the dog chose to bite over moving away from child, the dog is dangerous to have around children.

                    I feel for your friend, Im sure it was a horrible thing, I know someone who DID lose their hand from a cat bite, well most of her hand, it may as well been the whole hand for what she has left. Certainly not something to fool around with.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TikiSoo View Post
                      BTW...the girl is 6 months pregnant with her first child. I think having a known agressive & biting dog in the house is NUTS. She obviously can't control her dog (she sweetly said "st-op" and I had to coach her to bark. One syllable) sad to think of what type of parent she'll be.
                      I agree with the other posters. FWIW, many people are horrible at disciplining and controlling their animals but turn out to be very good parent. How she handles her dog is not a reflection of her parenting skills. Would you feel comfortable discussing this with her? Depending on the whole circumstances (like did you get right in the middle of the fight) I also don't think a dog in a fight with another dog means that the dog is aggressive towards people. Did she know that you got bit?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My son was bitten just above the wrist by a dog at the barn many years ago. It was pretty nasty so I took him to the doctor the next morning when it looked red and puffy. She sent him right to the hospital! He was developing cellulitis! They splinted his wrist so he couldn't move it and put him on IVs of strong anti-biotics. The swelling went down after 36 hours. The hospital said it was a good thing I brought him in when I did or he could have potentially lost the hand!! 2 days later he was released and was fine from then on.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TikiSoo View Post
                          it's fridgid here and I had thick triple insulated gloves on, so all I got was a bruise and one teeny scrape, not larger than a mosquito bite of broken skin on my hand. Of course, I'll double check that her dog has had a rabies vaccination....but should I even worry?
                          If it were me I'd ask for proof of the rabies vac. and once seeing that I wouldn't worry about it.
                          You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Same as the above poster. I would call the neighbor and ask for their rabies certificate and/ or tag. And I would clean it good and watch it. At the first sign of anything out of the ordinary, head to a doctor.

                            And I wouldn't label this dog as vicious or that this woman will be a horrible parent. Our JRT was great with kids. He loved them. However, he was attacked in, of all places, puppy obedience classes by a run-away chow. He was on a leash and the chow was doing off leash work in another part of the building. It broke command and pounced and bit my JRT (who had on a halty at the time and couldn't defend himself). From that point on, he disliked large, furry dogs. He was great with my parents hounds. He was best friends with our Great Dane. But, we had to scoop him up one time when walking in our neighborhood because a loose Collie came after him. Once again, my dog on a leash. The other dog wasn't. For his whole life (12 years) we would scoop him up if a loose, shaggy dog would ever come near him. Otherwise, he was great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TikiSoo View Post
                              BTW...the girl is 6 months pregnant with her first child. I think having a known agressive & biting dog in the house is NUTS. She obviously can't control her dog (she sweetly said "st-op" and I had to coach her to bark. One syllable) sad to think of what type of parent she'll be.
                              Idiot owner is what she is. Keep in mind that a fearful dog is NOT protective. Fear biting dogs are the absolute worst, but it sounds like this dog bit you indirectly. That dog is defensive and fearful on top of dog aggressive. Not a good mix. Dog aggressive dogs are a pain in the rear.

                              I would definitely go to the doctor and report the dog just in case.
                              Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                              Takaupas Top Gold
                              Gifts Black Gold Knight

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by birdsong View Post
                                Agreed...you'll be fine..and better to have a heart to heart with her than to make her defensive with contacting the authorities.
                                Totally agree. A friend of mine is a vet tech.....she once told me that the bite has to penetrate your skin before you could be infected.

                                Go talk to the girl...just tell her that for your own piece of mind, you just need conformation of the dog's rabies records.

                                If, godforbid, my dog had been in this situation....I would be MORE THAN happy to show you my records.

                                Let's face it....crap can happen with horses, dogs, cats...you name it. Sounds like she had her dog on a leash, the dog wasn't running rampant in the streets. I also don't think it's anyone's place to judge whether or not she should/shouldn't have a dog...but that's JMO.

                                I think it would be a different situation if the dog had gone after you. I don't think the woman is an idiot owner either just because she has a fear aggressive dog. Some of you guys are quick to pass judgement here. She had her dog out on a walk, they stopped, talked...and the dogs got too close to each other. Hell, shit happens. OP got a scratch, put some ointment on it and go ask the owner if she has the rabies records, just for piece of mind.

                                Don't let your dog get close to the other girl's dog in the future. If you stop and talk, do not let the dogs have any contact with each other.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The first thing to do after any bite is to wash the bite for several minutes under running water, using soap. Soap and water decreases the chance of rabies and other infections. You do need to verify that the dog has had rabies vaccine. Animal control will do that if you contact them. They will also likely quarantine the dog in the home or at the shelter. If you decide that you will not do what you are supposed to do and will not report the bite, ask to see the dog's rabies certificate. Then, make sure the dog stays in good health for the next 10 days. Rabies in pet dogs is rare but does occur. A dog who is shedding the rabies virus should become ill (and then die) within about 10 days. If your tetanus shot is not up to date, you need to get one. Every horse person should keep their tetanus vaccine in date (usually 10 years except for very deep puncture wounds which are usually 5 years). You may see your doctor/emergency room for a preventive antibiotic, particularly if the wound is deep.

                                  Cat bites are a different game. Cat bites frequently and rapidly become seriously infected. Preventive antibiotics are almost always a good idea. I have seen cat bites can become very infected (fevers, red streaks, swelling, pain) within 2 hours of the bite. When we had an old cat who regularly bit my daughter, we used to keep a few doses of Augmentin/amoxicillin clavulanate at home so we could start it right after the bite. Cats are also more prone to rabies.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've gotten bites and scratches that size a million times from my young dogs when I was playing with them and my I still have both my hands. I wouldn't even think twice about is.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Just call friend, ask her to provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

                                      Working at a clinic, I've been bitten plenty of times by "FiFi" with no manners. It happens. These kinds of "fear biting" incidents and such could be largely avoided if people knew how to handle their own dogs.

                                      A note to you for future reference--use your foot, not your hands if you must use a part of your own body to break up dogs. Yes...you can still get your foot or leg bitten...but it's best to keep your FACE away from the teeth which is hard to do when you're bent over using your hands. Use feet. Kick kick kick and YELL.
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would ask to see the rabies cert, and probably call the vet to confirm it was accurate. If she can't produce the cert (and/or vet's contact info) today, then go to the ER. Even though rabies is relatively rare, it isn't worth messing around with and you have to start prophylaxis BEFORE any signs or symptoms are present (and the shots are not nasty like they used to be!).

                                        If the dog is vaccinated, I wouldn't make a huge deal of it. It sounds like the dog was aggressive toward the other dog, but not intentionally toward the human. That's bad, but not AS bad as if it were human-aggressive, at least to me. If my horse kicks at a fly and gets me, she gets in trouble because she should know where I am, but she doesn't get in NEARLY the same amount of trouble as if she had kicked me outright.

                                        If you're close to the neighbor, you might drop the names of a couple of good trainers who would work with her and the dog. If you aren't that close, I wouldn't bother, because it will probably just make her defensive and cause tension without any positive outcome.
                                        Proud member of the EDRF

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