Only a doctor can assess your situation and explain whether you will need a tetanus shot after a dog bite. However, one may be warranted if you have not had a booster shot within the past 10 years, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Determining Your Risk of Tetanus
Many people commonly think the risk of contracting a tetanus infection occurs after suffering a cut or puncture wound involving metal. However, tetanus is also possible after a dog bite.
Tetanus does not always occur after a dog bite that punctures the skin. Still, because it is so easy to prevent tetanus with a booster shot, doctors often recommend that dog bite victims update their tetanus booster, just to be safe.
Incubation Period for Tetanus
Another reason doctors recommend dog bite victims receive a tetanus booster shot quickly is because of the illness’s random incubation period.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a tetanus infection usually shows up within 14 days of the wound. However, some people develop symptoms within one day, while others may not see symptoms for several months. Rather than allowing the tetanus bacteria to remain untreated in the body for weeks until symptoms show up, doctors may prefer to treat dog bite victims with the booster—unless they had a shot within the past 10 years.
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Follow the Doctor’s Advice
When you see a doctor, it’s important to follow their recommendations regarding your dog bite, both for your safety and if you plan to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. If you do not follow through on the treatment they recommend, this refusal could lead to a lower settlement amount in a personal injury case related to the dog attack.
Regarding whether you need to get a tetanus shot after a dog bite, you certainly should receive one if the doctor recommends it. If you refuse, the insurance company representing the dog owner may argue that you did not take your injuries seriously. This could lead to a reduction or denial of your financial award.
Why Seek Compensation After a Dog Bite?
If a dog owner fails to secure their animal and it bites a person and causes bodily injury, the owner may be liable. If this happened to you, you may qualify to seek compensation to cover your medical expenses and other damages. Our law firm could help.
At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we work on a contingency-fee-basis. With this type of payment structure, we do not require any payment from our clients ahead of time. Instead, we receive a percentage of the final settlement in the case as our fee.
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