Of Beasts and Bites

Well. I am pleased to report that my dearest husband has been declared Very Probably, Most Likely, Pretty Positively Free of Rabies! 🙂 Nothing can be 100% sure, of course, but the following are factors behind Marty not being given the prophylactic rabies vaccine:

1. By the time we reached our doctor’s office on Wednesday morning to show him the telltale gnashing marks of a vicious, potentially rabid beast on Marty’s leg, we had an embarrassingly difficult time locating said bite. By then, it had faded away from a reddish, hickey-looking mark to a mere suggestion of the slightest bruise, and all three of us (Marty, me, our doctor) had to tilt our heads and twist Marty’s leg a number of times to get favourable lighting in the exam room and finally locate the area of the bite. “Is this it?”, “No– I think this is it right here.” “Got it.” (We felt a little sheepish, having booked an appointment to show our doctor a phantom bite mark.) It was determined that the bite had not broken the skin (just bruised the tendons), and the impressive vanishing act of the bite also helped convince our doctor that the wound was definitely not infected.

2. Marty had reported his bite to animal control in case something similar happened to other people, and nothing matched his case at the time or was reported afterward about this particular dog. We also concluded in our own minds that the dog had not been acting particularly rabid before it bit Marty (whatever that means). It had walked along in a fairly normal and well-behaved manner until Marty made the move to pass the douche bag owner man and his dogs on his bike. Maybe the dog was startled and/or excited to see Marty on his magical wheeling machine? (And who could blame it? Quite frankly, Marty looks amazing in a pair of spandex and once even held the prestigious ‘Best Legs in Alberta’ title! <– Not even voted on by me! The contest was totally legit and not at all rigged by yours truly. Ahem.)

3. Our doctor conferred with all the other GPs on site to see if any of them felt it would be necessary and/or prudent to administer the rabies vaccine in this situation. The results of their conference: 4 to 0 in favour of not subjecting Marty to five weeks of superfluous anti-beast needling. The doctors cited the ‘abysmally low’ incidence of rabies in British Columbia and felt that, given Marty’s lack of concerning symptoms (and lack of a wound, for that matter) it would not be necessary for Marty to go that route. (Of course, if things turned around and Marty did develop an infection, swelling, shock, etc., it would be revisited and the vaccine would most likely be administered at that time.)

4. Our doctor got in touch with the senior microbiologist at the General Hospital to inquire about the local incidence of rabies and also to get a final judgment call on the necessity of the rabies vaccine in Marty’s case. We haven’t heard back from him, which is a good sign– he was only going to follow-up with us if we needed to come back in and get the vaccine.

And so, dear readers, my dearest husband has emerged from this strange twist of events slightly scathed but presumably not infected with a fatal wild beast disease. Thank goodness!! He was given a tetanus shot just in case, but everything else seems just fine. Keep calm and carry on! 🙂

4 responses

    • I think rabies is definitely still fear-worthy. 🙂 (To be 100% honest– I still wanted Marty to get the vaccination JUST IN CASE, but both Marty and our doctor felt that the chances of infection in his case were ultra slim. For me, even a 1/1000 or 1/10,000 chance of being infected with a fatal disease is too much risk, but then again, it’s easy for me to say “Be injected 5 separate times, oh needle-hating one!”) The prime reason why Marty wasn’t treated was because his ‘bite’ withered away to nothing. I think if any visual evidence whatsoever of the bite had made it to the dr. appointment, Marty would probably be getting injected.

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