Do I need a Tetanus Jab?

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birdofprey | 11:25 Sun 21st Jun 2009 | Health & Fitness
10 Answers
My dog bit me this morning.

It is a superficial wound on the forearm which broke the skin and a miniscule amount of blood has been seeping from the wound.

I immediately ran it under a cold tap and covered it with Savlon.

My dog is fit and healthy and suffers from no illnesses. She has little contact with other dogs and is very clean.

I have had many tetanus jabs in my 50 years, the last about 18 years ago.

Do I need to worry about another now?


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Not necessarily from this bite , but if in doubt get a tetanus done , you're out of date by now , 10 years is usually the limit . My I ask how you got bitten , was it a nasty bite by your dog snapping at you , or dd you accidently catch yourself on his sharp fang teeth ?
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Hi bigmamma

In answer to your question about how I go bitten: she was playing and accidentally nipped my wrist.

This was this morning and all the swelling has disappeared, a scab has formed and it has stopped throbbing.

I had decided not to go to the Dr; presumably if I had a problem it would show around the wound?

I always thought a certain amount of immunity was built up despite the time period!
Hmm, don't want to worry you but......

In my job, dog bites are an occupational hazard. I have tended to be lucky, in that I am very dog friendly, and most dogs, if they can smell me, realise this. There have been one or two tho who seemed friendly then bit me.

One such dog didn't like me petting it after a while and gave me a warning bite on the hand. It left marks, but didn't even break the skin.

However two days later (initial sign was itching) my hand grew to gigantic proportions (imagine a blown up rubber glove) and I had to have anti biotics and a tetanus.

Better to be safe than sorry.

BTW this dog was a run of the mill family pet from a good home, not a mangy stray.
The 10-year rule is out of date. The current DoH guidelines stae that if you have had five tetanus jabs in your life, you are covered for life unless the wound is heavily contaminate "e.g. stable manure".
Oh , poor dog is probably rather sorry that he caught you .
Any worry at all though , it wouldn't hurt to get checked . All the best x
you do, within 24 hours of the bite
Question Author
Well thanks for all your advice.

I woke up this morning and my arm was still swollen so I went to see the nurse.

Initially I felt a tad guilty because they were rushed off their feet with people showing 'swine flu' symptoms.

But the nurse decided I should have a booster - so I probably did the right thing.

For anybody who is interested the Tetanus jab now includes immunisation for Diptheria and Typhoid as well.
see nimal/Pages/Complications.aspx
The vaccination I have seen (Revaxis) provides cover for polio, diphtheria alongside the tetanus.
Glad you got sorted out birdofprey , hope you're feeling ok now xx

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