Dogs are the most loyal friends of man and these days dogs have become a real craze as a pet, but have you imagined what happens if your dog bites. After all it is just an animal and you can not trust animal instincts. So just in case if your dog bites then instead of losing your mental calm and getting panicked , you have to think of something which you should do immediately to save yourself from the deadly disease called Rabies. Rabies is a disease, which you can catch only if you are bitten by a dog or any other animal. If you get infected by rabies once then there is no treatment for it. The only remedy of rabies is to get anti rabies shot once you are bitten by a dog immediately.
First thing you should do after Dog bite
When we saw the scenario of dog or rather cat bites we found that there are around 1000 cases of rabies which come to the hospital in Delhi itself every day, so you can well imagine what must be the scenario of the whole country. Dog bite is just like an accident, because you never know when a dog might bite you, so first thing is do not panic and keep your calm. Here are few things which you should do after a dog bite:
If a dog bites you never get frightened and lose your self control. Do not start using any home remedy on the wound where the dog has bitten you. Wash the affected area or the wound under the tap with free flowing water and soap for at least 10-15 minutes. This will help in removing at least 70 out of 100 Rabies viruses from the open wound, thus reduce the intensity of getting infected with rabies.
In our country that is India the laws and legal aspects of dog bites are totally different from what they follow in other countries. In other countries if a dog bites and he has been vaccinated with the rabies vaccine then there is no need for the patient to get the anti rabies vaccination. But in India even if the dog is vaccinated with rabies then too it is compulsory for the patient to get a shot of anti rabies according to the law.
Know some facts about Anti rabies vaccine
The vaccination of anti rabies is absolutely free in government hospitals, but if you want you can get the injection from private clinics or hospitals too. Earlier there were Nerve Tissue Vaccines were there for dog bite , which the patient had to take 10-15 in number and that too in the stomach . This used to be very painful experience. But now there are just 5 Vaccinations which are given as shots in the arm only.
The vaccination schedule to be followed is like 0 – 3 – 7 – 14 – 28 days which means that the first shot has to be taken on the day of dog bite only, then the second one on the third day, 3rd shot on the 7th day, fourth shot on the 14th day and the fifth and final shot on the 28th day. Patients generally think that one shot of anti rabies is enough to save them from rabies, but it is not so till you get all the five shots of anti rabies you will not be protected from the rabies.
It is important to get a tetanus vaccine too along with all the five shots of rabies for the patient. If somehow you are not able to get the vaccine immediately after the dog bite, then take it as soon as you get time and get all the five shots. Rabies virus remains alive in the human body for a long time and they can spread the infection later on too.
Along with the anti rabies vaccine serum is also used to prevent rabies. This serum or vaccine when injected into the patient’s body produces antibodies, which fight the infection and prevent it from spreading. Serums are a kind of readymade anti bodies which are given to the patients.
Things to do after the vaccination
After the dog bite the kind of medication needed depends on the kind of wound and the risk of rabies infection. Even if the wound is very deep then too no stitches are used to close the wound, just some ointment is applied on the wound. Stitches can help the rabies virus to stay in the wound and spread the infection, thus they are avoided. After the anti rabies vaccination the patient should not consume alcohol at all, because alcohol restricts the production of antibodies in the patient’s body. There is no need to avoid any other food, just eat normally.
Indications of Rabies
Rabies is an incurable disease, so prevention is the only way to cure rabies. It occurs due to any kind of animal bite like cat, dog, or any other wild animal bite. But if a domestic mouse or squirrel bites then there is no need of anti rabies vaccine. Some important signs of rabies patients are: The person suffers from common viral fever or flu. The area where the dog has bitten, around that wound there is some kind of pricking sensation.
The patent starts suffering from Hydrophobia, Aerophobia and photophobia. If the person has hydrophobia then while drinking water he will suffer from pain in throat while drinking water. In case of Aerophobia even a light blow of air can cause pain in the neck muscles and in case of photophobia the patient faces problem in bright light. There is change in the voice of the patient.
How to save from a dog bite
Never tease a dog and especially a street dog; it can bite you due to fright. Never try and look into the eyes of the dog, this will make him feel that you are going to attack the dog. So avoid making an eye contact with the dog. It is dog’s nature to catch running or moving things, so just in case you fall in front of a dog do not panic and start running, just walk slowly and go away from the dog. All these tips will help you keep safe from rabies and you can avoid dog bites too in near future.
Photo Credit: Avenuek9.com