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Are Tetanus/Rabies Shots Required After a Dog Bite?

Dog bites can cause serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. While deep wounds can cause severe bleeding, they also create a significant pathway for infection. Thus, medical professionals may recommend receiving a tetanus shot following a dog attack. They may also recommend vaccination for rabies as part of their post-attack treatment regimen. This often includes testing for other bacteria, including Streptococcus, Capnocytophaga, Pasteurella, and more.

What Are Tetanus Shots?

Tetanus Toxoid is the inactive form of tetanus. Receiving a tetanus vaccination prevents individuals from acquiring this infection. While rare, tetanus infections can occur if the dog’s mouth was contaminated with soil at the time of the bite.

While most people receive a tetanus vaccine as children, few people go for the necessary booster shots that should be administered every 10 years. Thus, if a child is bitten, it is unlikely they will need a tetanus shot. However, if a child has not received at least three of the required six doses, or an adult has not received the necessary booster, a tetanus shot may be recommended.

What About Rabies?

Rabies occurs throughout Colorado counties. It usually involves bats, skunks, and other wild animals, but it can affect domestic dogs and cats. In 2018, 52 cases occurred in Larimer County, 69 in El Paso County, and 76 in Denver County.

If an individual is bitten by a rabies infected dog or another animal, prompt treatment is imperative. This involves the administration of rabies immune globulin, which helps prevent the virus from spreading throughout the body. The treatment course involves four injections administered over two weeks.

Untreated, rabies infections are almost always fatal. Thus, individuals who are bitten by a dog or cat should immediately determine whether or not the animal was up-to-date on their rabies shots.

Recovering Cost of Medical Care

Medical treatment should not be delayed, nor should individuals delay receiving vaccinations and other therapies because of cost. As with other personal injury claims, medical expenses are recoverable in a dog bite lawsuit in Colorado.

We encourage you to contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 to speak with a dog bite attorney about dog bite injuries in Colorado. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and understand your rights to recover your injuries.

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