Skip Navigation

Bitten by two dogs in Lao

Travel Forums General Talk Bitten by two dogs in Lao

1. Posted by Daveholmes (Budding Member 16 posts) 8y

In the early hours of this morning I was bitten several times by two stray dogs in the capital, valentain.
I was bitten on the left leg an the worst of the wounds have punctured the skin and flesh can be seen inside. I had the jabs for rabies 3 years ago and a booster about 3 months ago. I also had a tetanus booster. I went to the international clinic and the doctor didn't seem to worried and suggested that I take Amoxicillin 500g tablets, two, three times a day.
I have cleaned the wound with TCP and dressed with anticeptic cream and Large plasters.

Am I OK to carry on my travels? I have read various articals saying I should have further treatment, but I dont know if this is in the case when not having the original jabs???

Advice would be appreciated

Regards,

Dave x

2. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 8y

If you've had the shots you should be okay. Just make sure to keep the would clean.

I was bitten by a stray dog in Turkey - nothing ended up happening.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

As you have posted, you have kept your rabies and tetanus imunizations up to date. You have also done what the physicians told you to do - keep the wound clean and take antibiotics. Personally, I would continue my travels unless the wound begins to degrade. Granted stray animals can be infected with rabies, but it tends to be more of a problem in rural areas than in cities. Again, personally, I would not be concerned, continue to treat the wounds and be on my way.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 8y

In order to provide full protection against rabies you need to have jabs after you have been bitten by a rabid animal, even if you have had the original jabs. All the original jabs (or any previous boosters) do is buy you more time to get to a hospital to get the booster jabs.

Personally I would go back and get the jabs - remember, there is nothing that can be done to cure rabies once the symptoms have developed, and it is fatal in all cases, so it's not worth the risk of waiting to see if it's ok.

5. Posted by makka (Respected Member 248 posts) 8y

Quoting bex76

In order to provide full protection against rabies you need to have jabs after you have been bitten by a rabid animal, even if you have had the original jabs. All the original jabs (or any previous boosters) do is buy you more time to get to a hospital to get the booster jabs.

Personally I would go back and get the jabs - remember, there is nothing that can be done to cure rabies once the symptoms have developed, and it is fatal in all cases, so it's not worth the risk of waiting to see if it's ok.

yeahhh thats totally what i thought ... but seeing as he's been to a Doctor allready - you think he/she would have pointed this out no?

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 8y

Quoting makka

Quoting bex76

In order to provide full protection against rabies you need to have jabs after you have been bitten by a rabid animal, even if you have had the original jabs. All the original jabs (or any previous boosters) do is buy you more time to get to a hospital to get the booster jabs.

Personally I would go back and get the jabs - remember, there is nothing that can be done to cure rabies once the symptoms have developed, and it is fatal in all cases, so it's not worth the risk of waiting to see if it's ok.

yeahhh thats totally what i thought ... but seeing as he's been to a Doctor allready - you think he/she would have pointed this out no?

hmm it does seem strange that the doctor did not mention it - it could be that it's because rabies is rare in Vientiane, or it could be just bad advice as medical facilities aren't the best in Laos. I checked it out on a few websites and it seems that it's definitely the case that you need the jabs after a bite even if you have had them before (and I remember this from when i visited a doctor before travelling in SEA)

The incubation period varies for rabies but can be up to a year:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071002224828AAN12cR so why have this worry for so long to know for definite if you are in the clear or not. my logic would be - there is surely a tiny chance that you may have rabies, therefore however tiny the risk it is one not worth taking for such a serious disease, especially as it's not such a big deal to go and get another jab.
That's my 2 penneth worth but perhaps I just worry too much

7. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 8y

Bex is completely correct-- If you were bitten by a stray dog, and the dog cannot be captured ( and examined to assure that it is NOT rabid) the recommendation would be to give you booster vaccines now- post exposure, even if you previously were vaccinated. The usual regimen is to give 2 shots on days 0 and 3 ( but rabies immune glogulin would not be needed).

There most certainly are rabid dogs in Laos, and the incubation can potentially be long-
For you trivia buffs rabies is the infectious disease with the highest case fatality-- virtually 100% of people with rabies will die!! Not something to even take a chance with despite the above comment on people who did fine following a bite-- If the doig was rabid, and you cannot know now, you are at risk still.

I agree that you are already OK with tetanus if you had a booster, and it sounds like you don't have a wound infection ( and are taking reasonable antibiotics) but I definitely would NOT be happy by the advice you had about rabies.... I would not care to comment on the quality of medical care in Laos, but having been there myself, it does leave a lot to be desired....

http://www.who.int/rabies/human/postexp/en/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/postexposure.html

I would prefer to be treated in Bangkok or in Vietnam- Hanoi, or HCMC.
(And trust me-- I am an infectious diseases physician- and I know what I am talking about)

Good luck and PM me if questions.