02 March 2009

Dogs. Rabies. Money.

Dogs are man's best friends, but that is only after their anti-rabies vaccination. Unless you have almost 10,000 pesos to spare, don't get bitten by a dog.

Yesterday, trying to intercede two of our fighting dogs, my sister was accidentally bitten on her arm. There wasn't any blood, no grave visible injuries, just a small mark of its teeth on her skin. We brought her to several hospitals which pointed us to San Lazaro hospital - a government hospital that specializes in animal bites.

According to my dad, being bitten by a dog under the waist would mean a week-long incubation period for the rabies disease to manifest. While a bite above the waist would mean that the person has less than a day to find treatment else would have higher chances of going bonkers and dying on that same day.

Another trivia to know: the rabies virus is smaller than a dot on a piece of paper or a pinhole, which means even the most harmless looking bite can prove fatal - so unless the dog has been vaccinated, you are going to be splurging on your treatments for the next month. Aside from paying for an expensive ERIG treatment, PVRV and some anti-tetanus, you'd have to return to the hospital four more PVRV shots to make your system immune to the virus for a year or two. The doctor will be providing a schedule when the patient has to go back for her next shot - follow it religiously because missing one shot on the prescribed date means going back and starting from the beginning. Is it costly? read the first line of this post.

A last pointer which I learned - you can actually try to ask the doctor if the prescription for the patient can be halfed, compared to purchasing a full vial - then you can find someone who'd be willing to share the other half with you in order to save some money. A full vial though is recommended especially if the dog can no longer be traced or has died, as a safety measure - so keep in mind what the dog looks like, and if it would be possible, try to keep an eye on the dog that bit you until you finish your shots - according to my gramps, once the dog goes crazy, you're bound to go rabid soon after.

Can we tell if the dog has rabies? You can bring it to a center to have it tested. If it's positive, the answer is yes. If it's negative, it can be a false negative. Do the math. So you have to still go through the treatment? As if you have a choice.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Have your dogs vaccinated with anti-rabies as soon as possible rather than go through all these unnecessary processes we have to go through now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey super thanks for the post.. im a dog bite victim too and had been to san lazaro last friday for my shots..