According to the National Institute of Health, if a person’s skin is broken by a dog or wild animal bite, that person should get a tetanus shot if he or she has not had a tetanus shot within the past five years.
Tetanus is an infection of the nervous system by a potentially deadly bacterium. The bacterium typically enters the body through a wound and symptoms usually begin to manifest 7 to 21 days after the time of infection. Tetanus usually begins with mild spasms in the jaw, also known as lockjaw. The spasms, in some cases, can also affect the muscles that control breathing. Other symptoms of tetanus include drooling, fever and sweating, hand or foot spasms, difficulty swallowing, and incontinence, or the inability to control the bladder or bowels.
Unfortunately, without treatment, one in four of those infected with tetanus will die. If the wound that caused the tetanus is on the head or the face, it is generally more dangerous than wounds on other parts of the body. However, with proper treatment, less than 10 percent of infected patients die. Treatment can include antibiotics, bed rest, muscle relaxers, surgery, sedatives and other medicines. Sometimes, breathing support is also needed.
If you have been bitten by a dog or other wild animal, and you have not had a tetanus shot in the last five years, you should see a doctor immediately. If you are bitten by a dog, you also have legal rights against that dog’s owner. Contact the Missouri dog bite attorneys at Page Law to learn more about your rights against the owner of a dangerous dog. Call today at 314-322-8515 to learn more.