I got nipped by a dog

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. GanChan, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

    GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I was walking along the street when a neighbor's dog suddenly decided to charge me and take a nip at my leg. The owner got the dog under control (at which point the animal suddenly became quite well behaved), went over to check on me, and apologized profusely. I asked for proof of vaccinations and he showed me the dog's collar with the list of immunizations on it; he also gave me the name of their vet clinic.

    It's a small flesh wound, not a puncture wound; didn't really bleed except under the skin. I washed it out with peroxide and alcohol, put Neosporin on it and band-aided it up.

    What else should I do? Tetanus shot? My last one was 5 years ago....
  2. sjinsjca macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008
    I'd call the guy's vet to verify the dog was indeed up on its shots.

    I wouldn't get hysterical about this, if you feel the owner was generally a responsible sort.
  3. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    The owner is very lucky you're not sue-happy.
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008
    So's the dog.
  5. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I wouldn't win a lawsuit anyway; no witnesses.

    I still may give the owner the opportunity to spring for my pending tetanus shot, if in fact I need one. (I'll ask the pharmacy tomorrow.) I think that would be fair.
  6. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    I had something similar happen to me. I had a dog bite me way back when I delivered pizza. It gave me a good nip on the back of my calf. Enough to cause a few blood blisters, though it didn't break the skin. I had the owners hand over the vaccination records for the dog to make sure I wouldn't get anything terrible (they took it to get it's rabies shot the day after I was bit), and went to the doctor to get a tetanus booster.

    12 years on, and I have yet to get lockjaw or start foaming at the mouth.
  7. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I would never even occur to me to ask about vaccinations for getting nipped by a dog.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If he didn't break the skin then you should be ok, but its good to double check with a doctor. Calling the vet about the shots is a good idea as well.
  9. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    You don't need witnesses for a dog bite, just a police report.

    Good advice about checking with the vet and your own doctor. And yes, if you need any treatment the dog owner should cover the cost.
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I'm glad it wasn't worse OP. As others have said, check with the vet and your doctor just to be on the safe side.
  11. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Tetanus shots should be good for 10 years. It is one of the shots along with Hep shots that I need to work as EMT. My work records shows when to get them. Have a doctor look the bite over and definitely call the dog owners vet.
  12. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
  13. palmerc2 macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    People who are sue happy over a small flesh wound like that are just plain ridiculous. Especially in LA, people have their lawyer on speed dial for whenever they get bit, big or small.

    Heard a story of an old lady who got a minor bite on her leg from a poodle, sued for some ridiculous amount, in the hundreds of thousands. The dog owner had to sell all vehicles, and refinance her house to pay for the lawsuit. Just ridiculous, that persons life is damn near ruined because of a small bite that probably healed within a week.
  14. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    The doctors I've had have all said that tetanus shots last for ten years, but to have a booster if you have an injury between the five to ten year mark.

    I was for example told to get a booster by my doctor when I got a deep scratch from a rusty nail at the six-year point.

    But I'm not a doctor - it's a good idea to ask yours. :) And you were very wise to ask for proof of vaccinations. I'd tend to agree with the advice you got to call the vet clinic just to be sure, but then I tend to err on the side or caution.
  15. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I got the tetanus booster anyway, because why not.

    The vet confirmed that the dog is up to date on all shots. So yay.

    So now I just have to ask a doctor about the need for oral antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection. Strangely enough, the local CVS Minute Clinic refused to even look at me -- they aren't "allowed" to treat animal bites. Will have to try a dedicated urgent care center or G.P. instead.
  16. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    CVS Minute Clinic also won't check you out after a minor car accident, either. They refer you to a hospital or GP. They mostly handle illnesses.

    The fact that the dog's owner gave you the information about the shots is a big plus. After this is over, I'd send them a polite, but firm letter requesting that they pay for the costs associated with the dog bite, include copies of the recipes.

    Truthfully, you'd win easily in small claims court. Think about it, the owner actually provided you with the vet's name and showed you the tags with the shots. However, is it worth it? In small claims you are only allowed actual damages and your actual damages are the cost of a doctor's visit and medicine. I think just sending the letter will result in your receiving a check and an apology.
  17. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    So the dog has been vetted by the vet, eh? ;)
    That's good!
  18. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Thankfully it was a dog. Their bites tend to be less dangerous and less likely to cause infection than say cats or people.
  19. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    I'd demand a rabies test. The owner can pick-up his dog's head when they're finished.

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