You were bitten by a friend’s dog and now you’re worried about getting rabies. Should you be?

Could You Have Rabies After a Dog Bite?

You went to visit a long-time friend in Seattle. You’ve been there plenty of times and her dog was always friendly towards you. Today, however, was a different story. As you stood in the kitchen and chatted with your friend, the dog began sniffing you and whining. As you turned to walk away and go into a different room, the dog attacked you.

You went to the Swedish Hospital ER and received stitches for your bite wounds. The doctor also told informed you about the risk for rabies, and that you may be exposed. You weren’t aware rabies was even a problem anymore. After all, don’t dogs receive rabies shots?

The Real Risk of Rabies After a Dog Attack

Although contracting rabies is rare, especially from a vaccinated dog, it can happen. As a precaution, your doctor will likely have you undergo treatment according to the rabies protocol, which includes:

  • Washing the wound. Washing your wound immediately after the bite is important to prevent infection of all kinds. If possible, cleanse the wound with soap and water before heading to the hospital or the doctor’s office. You’ll likely receive the same treatment in the ER, but removing as much bacteria as possible immediately following the attack is extremely helpful.
  • Post-exposure shots. Your doctor may give you post-exposure vaccines if he believes you could contract the disease. Called post-exposure prophylaxis, the shots include one dose of human rabies immunoglobin and four doses of rabies vaccine given on a specific schedule over a 14-day period. People with weak immune systems will need a fifth shot and blood test to ensure that the vaccine worked.

Rabies Exposure Is Stressful and Costly

If you were the victim of a dog attack, you’re likely feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and worried. Besides the sheer panic you feel, you’re also likely feeling the burden of the expenses associated with your dog bite treatment and the rabies shots.

The Andrew Kim Law Firm doesn’t think dog bite victims should be held responsible for these fees. If you feel the same, contact us today to learn how we may be able to help you receive compensation for your ordeal.