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10 Things You Must Know about Dog Bites Before Treating them

One of the main and major diseases that is transmitted from an animal to a human is Rabies. 95% of rabies are from stray dog bites. Rabies is a virus that can affect animals like Dogs, Cats, Wolf, Monkeys, Horses and many other animals. When these animals attack and bite humans, they get rabies infection.

Route which Rabies Travels

Saliva of a Rabid dog contains the Rabies virus. When these dogs bite humans, these viruses enter the human body through the wound that results. Then, this virus enters the blood stream, spinal cord, and brain. When it enters the brain, it starts to destroy the brain cells and causes Rabies disease. It’s possible to get Rabies even if a Rabid dog licks a pre-existing unhealed wound or injury.

What are the signs?

Signs of Rabies infection may start to appear after 5 days and it can take as long as 6 six years for the signs to appear. There will be pain in the area of a Dog bite. There will be fever and vomiting. The person with rabies won’t be able to drink water or eat food. Just the sight of water is enough to give them an uncomfortable feeling in their throat, and their throat muscles will contract just by seeing water. Fear that they may die will start to grip their mind. More light and the wind will make them shiver. They will feel restless. They would want to bite another person and want to run wherever they wish. When the disease has reached its peak stage, they might have epilepsy and die eventually.

Rabies Vaccines

There are about 4 different types of Rabies vaccines available. Those are Purified chick embryo cell vaccine, Human diploid cell vaccine, purified very cell vaccine and embryo cell vaccine. Using any one of these vaccines is enough to stop Rabies. One shot Rabies vaccine will contain 1 ml of the medicine.

Vaccine to Protect from Rabies

There is a vaccine called Human Rabies Immunoglobulin to stop the Rabies virus. This vaccine will destroy Rabies virus the very moment it tries to enter the blood stream. This needs to be injected around the wound caused due to Dog bite. This medicine will fetch good results if injected within 7 days of the bite. 20 units of this medicine will be injected for every 1 kilogram of the body’s weight, so its dose differs from person to person depending upon their body weight. It’s necessary to have Rabies vaccine along with this.

What needs to be done After a Dog Bite?

Wash off the wound with a soap immediately in running water within 10 minutes of the bite. Apply an effective antiseptic cream or liquid around and over the wound. Prevent covering the wound with a band-aid or stitching it. If the wound is really large stitches needs to be made only after application of antiseptic. It’s essential to have a Tetanus Toxoid vaccine for any kind of wound. Additionally, antibiotic medicines need to be taken.

Common procedure for Vaccine

There will be 5 sessions of vaccines usually prescribed for a person with the Dog bite. These sessions will be on the day of the bite, 3rd day of the bite, 7th day, 14th day and 28th day. For those who are badly injured, there will be the sixth vaccine that needs to taken after 90 days. There are no exceptions for this procedure.

What to do if a Pet Dog Bites

Even if the Dog had a Rabies vaccine, it’s necessary for the bitten person to take on Rabies vaccine. At the same time, it’s necessary to monitor the Dog for a period of 10 days. If there are no changes in Dog’s behavior, then the person can stop his vaccine after the first three sessions (0, 3 and 7th day), if there are changes in Dog’s behavior, completing the remaining vaccine sessions is a must (14th and 28th day)

How to Identify a Rabid  Dog?

Rabid dogs have the habit of barking without any reason. It will be restless. It will chase down everyone and tries to bite them. Its tongue will be out salivating all the time. Usually, Rabid Dog will die within 10 days of infection.

Who needs preventive vaccines?

People who have a high probability to be bitten by a Dog, or have high chances of Rabies virus infection, these people can have preventive vaccines.

Many kids in India have the habit of playing the streets without their parent’s permission, if these kids get bitten by a Dog or get scratched by a Rabid Dog, they usually fail to inform their parents about it. So parents can make their kids to take this vaccine as a preventive measure. Apart from it, people who have to deal with stray dogs or works with Dogs directly need to take this vaccine.

Rabies Preventive Vaccines Sessions

After the first vaccine session, the second session will be on the 7th day followed by the final session on the 28th day. There is a booster dose which needs to be taken every 5 years after that.

If the person who has taken the preventive vaccine is bitten by a stray dog, they need to clean the wound thoroughly and take first two sessions of the Rabies vaccine. They do not need to take Human Rabies Immunoglobulin.