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What to Do if a Dog has Bitten you or someone Else
By: Tippy

If you or one of your family members have been bitten by a
dog, here is the following advice from health authorities on
what to do when bitten by a dog:

1. Force the wound to bleed.

2. Wash the wound with soap and water to remove germs and
reduce the chance of infection.

3. After washing the wound, apply an antiseptic.

4. Go immediately to your doctor's office or the Emergency
Room of your local hospital.

If for any reason, anyone you know suffers from a dog bite,
take him or her immediately to the hospital. Be aware that
the anti-rabies vaccines can be very expensive, but they can
save a life. The best thing to try and do is avoid dog bites
in the first place. Here's how to overcome fear of being bitten.

Why are anti-rabies vaccines so expensive?

HRIG from human cells and ERIG (equine rabies
immunoglobulin) from horses are both extremely expensive
because they are in short supply worldwide.

Production of HRIG depends on the availability of human
donors who have already been immunized against rabies, and
it requires an expensive screening and production process.

ERIG production requires a constant supply of serum from
horses that had been immunized against rabies. Large
multinational manufacturers are reluctant to maintain such
facilities because of pressures from animal rights groups,
increasing production costs, and complicated directives from
national regulatory authorities. Three major European
manufacturers stopped production of ERIG during the past
twenty years. Among Asian nations, only Thailand produces a
moderate quantity of HRIG from unpaid volunteer donors at
the Thai Red Cross National Blood Center in Bangkok.

What can the government do?

Local governments need to enact and enforce requirements for
dog owners to have dogs vaccinated against rabies regularly.

Irresponsible dog owners should be penalized. Dogs that bite
without provocation should be euthanized in a merciful
fashion, and owners of dogs that bit people must extend
financial help to the victims.

Ideally, every dog owner should train their dogs and keep
them under control. If the owner is unable, he or she should
hire a professional dog trainer to ensure that the dog is safe
with humans. A responsible owner can really make a dog man's
best friend.

It is also very helpful if every community can maintain an
animal bite clinic to serve the emergency needs of victims.
Animal rabies, whether from dog, cat, bat, rat, cow or
horse, can be fatal if not treated properly and immediately.

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