Stray dog bit DH

catherinet(5 IN)December 28, 2008

Hi all,

We found a dog hanging around our porch the other day. It was a sweet-looking dog, but extremely thin and had tons of burrs in its coat. (We live out in the country).

We called around the area, and nobody seemed to know anything about it.

DH went out last evening to see if it had any identification on its collar, and unfortunately (and stupidly), he didn't have any gloves on. He went at the dog too fast, and the dog nipped his hand. Nice going hubby.

He just had a pin-head sized red spot on his hand, but I thought it was probably just enough to get rabies, if the dog had them. So we went to the ER. They gave him a tetanus shot and said someone from the Sheriff's department would come out and get the dog, and keep it somewhere for 10 days. Well, we found out since we live in the county, there's nobody to do this.

So the dog is tied up on our front porch. Hopefully tomorrow when I call the Health Department, they will give me some names of places that might watch it and then place it somewhere.

Fortunately, they just started up a humane society in our county, so maybe they can help.

I don't know what kind of dog this is. She is brown and beige and black and about 40-50#. But her voice is strange. She makes weird noises before she barks....almost like a howling. It almost sounds like a hound dog. She has the sweetest face.

Supposedly there haven't been any cases of rabies in this county for years....but I wasn't going to take that chance.

Why do people abandon their animals? Its just not right.

We just can't keep it. Already, our present dog is going NUTS all the time, when it sees or hears the dog on the porch.

Fortunately, its warmer this week.

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Wow. Sure sorry your DH got bit. I hope it isn't rabid, but I agree, you can't take a chance. Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:39AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Anne,
I am so frustrated. The ER nurse on Saturday made it sound like there was so much help out some place to quarantine it and then some place to take it for adoption. The Sheriff's department said they had nothing, the Board of Health has nothing, the local vet has nothing.
I'm waiting for a call from someone who is trying to start a humane society in this county, but probably doesn't have any resources.
The thought of keeping this dog for 8 more days is upsetting, since its making my dog bark all the time, and it keeps getting twisted up in its rope.
I just heard that a neighboring county has a humane society, but I doubt it will take anything from another county. :(
Its so sad that people do this to animals.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 10:37AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

What a miserable situation when all you wanted to do was help. The smaller communities really don't have facilities to take care of this problem. When my cat had a temper tantrum and inflicted her version of the death of a thousand cuts on my hand, the sheriffs department got involved because the ER was required to report all animal inflicted injuries. I got antibiotics and the cat got home arrest for two weeks. They actually did call me to find out if she had gone bonkers again but that was the end of it. Had she been a stray, she would have been euthanized and her head would have been sent to a state testing lab. This happened when my father was bitten by a bat that wandered into my closet and when my sister attempted to pick up a cat that had been hit in traffic and was bitten many years ago.
My parents wound up paying for the whole thing both times. The insurance company did not consider it a necessary test. I don't think many people had health insurance at the time, but Daddy was an insurance agent who believed in what he sold.
I will be thinking of you both in the days to come. The thought of the treatment is as nerve wracking as the disease. Please, keep us posted. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 11:15PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Yes, the whole situation is unfortunate, and yet repeated over and over and over in every corner of our country...

BUT, you are doing the right thing! Rabies is fatal. And you CANNOT assume it won't happen to you, or in your area.
So as bad as it is to quarantine a stray dog on your porch for 2 weeks - HANG IN THERE. The ONLY alternative is to euthanize it and send it's head in for testing, which indeed you will probably have to pay for.

Think about the farm family thats 6 month old lab puppy was found playing with an almost dead bat in the yard. The bat was tested - positive for Rabies. The puppy was had never been vaccinated against Rabies...but they couldn't take a chance with their childrens lives. It was negative. But the kids lost their puppy for lack of a $15 vaccination.

Or the family that brought a sickly barn kitten into the kitchen to warm it up and feed it. I bit one of their toddlers in the heel. The next morning it had died...they had it tested and it was positive for Rabies. The child was treated and survived due to the quick action of her parents.

Or the teenager that awoke in the night to find a bat mixed up in the sheets in his tested positive for Rabies...he never knew if he'd been bitten - the bite wound can be so tiny. But he was treated for Rabies.

Or the Farmer and his 2 sons that bought a few small steers to feed out on their farm. A week later the vet was called out to treat one that wouldn't eat. Well it couldn't eat, or tested positive for Rabies. All 3 had to be treated for Rabies...but THEY'RE ALIVE.

True stories from our vet clinic in the past couple years.

We process and send in 6 or 8 samples (read dead animals) to the state lab every year. Most are negative. Most are wild/feral bats or cats. But the saddest are the beloved pets...all for the lack of a cheap vaccine.

VACCINATE YOUR PETS AGAINST RABIES! Even if they never go outside! In most states it's the law! Can you imagine having YOUR Kitty killed and tested for Rabies 'cause the neighbors 5-year-old brat grabbed her by the tail and Kitty lashed out with a "nip"?

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now...And Cath, I wish you and DH and your stray a clean bill of health. Then you can find a home for...ah, what's her name now? :)


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:13PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I'll add one more for readers who are not familiar with how rabies is contracted. You can get rabies if you have a scratch and it comes into contact with saliva from an animal with rabies. It can even be dried saliva. You can't take chances. Once the disease is apparent, it is too late to treat.
Catherine, I don't pray much but I pray that dog is totally healthy. Sandy

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 3:09PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Sarah and Sandy.
The dog is acting fine so far. Gaining weight from finally getting some food.
I think DH is feeling puny, though, from the antibiotics.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 4:27PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey, Catherine. How goes the watch? Sandy

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 2:23PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Sandy,
The dog is doing fine on Day 10. I've been hearing we should do 14 days, but I'm not sure.
I'm still struggling with what to do with her. I'm starting to imagine her inside though....
I already have a dog and a cat, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed thinking about keeping it. But there's nothing in this county where I could take her, with the hopes of finding a home.
I think she's old, and is a bit hard of hearing and maybe a little blind. She's a sweet thing. As my husband put it today, "she seems so appreciative of everything we do for her".
We're glad there's no sign of rabies!
Thanks for asking, Sandy.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:42PM
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