Should I Get A Tetanus Shot After a Dog Bite?
Should You Get A Tetanus Shot After a Dog Bite?
Dog bites are painful experiences. While the event itself can be traumatic, there’s much to consider if you’ve been bitten by a dog in terms of your health.
One of the most common risks with any animal bite is an infection. That’s because it is impossible to truly know where an animal, including dogs, have been.
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What is Tetanus
Tetanus is a disease that can sometimes be transmitted to humans through dog bites. This is a disease that attacks the nervous system and causes extreme muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, and even death if left untreated.
Tetanus can only be transmitted through open wounds. But, it’s when those wounds are contaminated with saliva, feces, or other disease-carrying agents that you should worry.
The fact of the matter is no one can be completely sure what a dog has put in their mouth. Any dog bite could potentially become infected, and tetanus is a serious enough infection that quick action is not only recommended but required, to keep you safe.
The most important question to consider after getting bitten by a dog is if the wound broke the skin. If there is no break in the skin, you are almost certainly fine but it’s still always best to consult a physician.
If the skin is broken, you must seek medical attention immediately. The wound needs to be cleaned completely and properly to avoid infection, as symptoms can take several days to show.
Many people receive tetanus vaccinations throughout their life, most commonly in 10-year periods. These vaccinations help to battle tetanus infection, but they are not a replacement for seeking immediate medical care.
Physicians say if it has been more than five years since your last tetanus shot, it is recommended to receive a booster if you’ve been bitten.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the risks involved with dog bites are great enough that you should always seek medical attention and get a tetanus shot. No matter what an owner may tell you about their animal, in the moment it’s impossible to be sure if you are safe from infection.
If you have been bitten by a dog, take advantage of our experienced dog bite attorneys to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Timothy C. Moynahan is the CEO and owner of Moynahan Partners, which offers business development consultancy, identifying strategic business partnerships and funding sources. He founded and heads the Moynahan Law Firm, Waterbury, Connecticut, and is “of counsel” to the Jin Law Group at 200 Park Avenue in New York. He is a sought-after and successful trial lawyer, earning the Super Lawyer of New England and Connecticut awards from 2009 to 2012 and Best Criminal Defense Attorney accolade in 2013.