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Emergency steps after being bitten by a dog

Updated on May 1, 2010

How to treat a person bitten by an unknown dog

Today I saw a hub request in the request section of hubpages which is asked by one of our fellow hubber, pankaj3625, so in order to answer this request, I will tell you a short story, which will serve as an example for answering this request.

Some months ago, one of my friend who lives and works in USA was bitten by a boxer dog and the steps he had taken at that time to prevent rabies which is a viral disease which is caused by an animal bite. The rabies virus directly goes to the brain through the peripheral nerves. The signs and symptoms of rabies disease appear after 1 to 3 months of exposure or after being bitten, so rabies is a fatal disease which directly affects the central nervous system.


One of my close friends, Rohit, was bitten on the left knee area by a boxer dog when he was going for a morning walk down the road. He received a superficial puncture wound and abrasion wounds at the area of the lateral and anterior aspects of the left knee. He had some swelling and discomfort after he was bitten. When Rohit asked the alleged owner of the dog that if the dog was up-to-date on his shots, the owner continued to walk and ignore him. The status of the dog and its home was unknown. My friend reported to the animal control in order for the dog to be taken into custody and quarantined and observed by animal control.

He then went to the emergency room to get the rabies immunoglobulin and also to get his first rabies vaccine shot. In the emergency room, the wounds were cleaned and he was provided with rabies immunoglobulin and his first rabies vaccination. He was also given a tetanus shot.


So, the best option after being bitten by a dog is to reach the nearest emergency room and if the status of the dog is unknown, you must get the Rabies Immune Globulin and rabies vaccine administered within 48 hours of being bitten by the dog. The tetanus shot should also be administered if the last tetanus booster was more than 5 years ago.

If the status of the dog is known and you get to know that the dog is up-to-date on its vaccination, contact a good veterinarian in your area and he/she will quarantine and observe the dog for 10 days or so and will take the necessary steps.

Keep your pets up-to-date on their vaccinations

Beware of dogs
Beware of dogs
This white boxer dog looks great
This white boxer dog looks great


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    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you very much London_Guide, sfharper, and leta sorbet for writing out such good advice on what to do after being bitten up by a dog . I will definitely add up more info on this hub on rabies and tetanus as advised by Ms. Harper.

    • leta sorbet profile image

      leta sorbet 8 years ago from USA

      Definitely tell animal control or some one about the dog because there could be a leash law in your area and if the dog was just wondering and not on a leash then who ever's dog it was is at fault for any injury.

    • sfharper profile image

      sfharper 8 years ago from Winter Springs, FL

      I was recently bit by a dog in the neighborhood, but I wore heavy clothing so it didn't tear my skin. When I reported to animal control--I called the police and they sent an officer out and then I had to go to City Hall and fill out an additional report, it was the third report and so the owner had to insure the dog couldn't get out of the home unsupervised and to get a $500,000 bail bond. Good write up about Rabies and Tetanus, too

      :) Sheri

    • london_guide profile image

      london_guide 8 years ago from Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

      A very good story on what should be done after being bitten by a dog. Soni2006, your style has been always different in whatever you write, that is why I am in love with your hubs.