When the Dog Bites

It was a friend’s dog that bit Ren. The friend was walking the dog, passed by our house, called on Ren who stepped out of the gate, accidentally letting our dog Boulder out. Now, Boulder (sitting all sweet in that photo) is not an agressive dog at all but he’s excitable and curious. BoulderWhen he approached the other dog, that dog must’ve felt threatened and tried to attack Boulder but ended up biting Ren instead. Everything happened so fast. I was cooking in the kitchen, heard some commotion and by the time I look out the window, Boulder’s back inside the yard. A few minutes after, Ren gets back in to wash his wound.

It was a small bite because, well, the dog that bit him has small teeth. It’s a short dog that looks like a Corgi. Big or small, a dog bite can potentially cause two things – rabies (if the dog is infected) and tetanus (because the bacteria that causes this lives in soil and animal shit and can easily end up in the mouth of dogs).

We were told the dog had been vaccinated for rabies plus the risk of it being infected by rabies by other dogs is little because it’s almost always kept inside the yard so we were not concerned about rabies right away. I was worried more about tetanus. BUT what did we do? Nothing! Because the cut was small, we just observed the wound if it will get worse, become inflammed or something like that. I don’t really recommend this.


See, two days after, Ren complained of sore throat but he wasn’t sneezing or had any other symptom that could make it flu and not tetanus. So, I Googled if sore throat could be a symptom of tetanus and several sites said that it is!! I demanded he goes straight to get a post-exposure tetanus shot after work. He did and the doctor said he should get shots for anti-rabies too but he had to go somewhere else for those.

Then, as it turned out, he had the flu and wasn’t developing tetanus. Was I sorry I told him to get a shot? NO! I was actually sorry we even thought of taking a chance on something like this! Rabies and tetanus are very preventable. Vaccines people! We have them here! Get your dog vaccinated. Get vaccinated yourself.

What to do after a dog bite:
For minor wounds, wash the wound thoroughly and carefully with mild soap and water. Put some antibiotic cream/ointment to the wound to help prevent infection. Apply a clean bandage over the wound.

For deep punctures/wounds, control the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth and see a doctor.

Always seek medical attention when dealing with dog bites and most especially when you don’t know who the owner of the dog is or you’re uncertain of the rabies immunization status of the dog.

If you’re anywhere near Marilao in Bulacan, go to the Bulacan Animal Bite Treatment Center. Treatment there is way cheaper than if you go to private clinics. In SM Fairview Medical City, Ren spent P477 for a tetanus shot (P57 vaccine + P420 consultation fee). In another private hospital, he found out that the rabies vaccination series cost P2,500 for the initial shot and then P1,500 for the succeeding shots (post-exposure vaccination requires a series of 5 shots). In the Bulacan Animal Bite Treatment Center, the first vaccination is for tetanus and rabies which costs P700 and then the rest of the shots cost P500. For preventive vaccination, the cost is the same but requires only 3 shots.

Bulacan Animal Bite Treatment Center
Vendasa Bldg., Sta Rosa I, Marilao, Bulacan
Clinic Hours: Mon-Sat: 7am-7pm; Sunday: 8am-5pm
Cel Nos: 0915-858-0711; 0920-813-8278; 0922-671-0061


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