After a Wisconsin dog bite, you’ll want to see the dog's immunization record. You want to know that the dog has had all its shots and that you are not at risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease such as rabies. However, your own immunization record is also important. Are you up to date on your vaccinations?

If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last five years, your doctor may recommend a booster.

Tetanus is an infection that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. C. tetani lives in soil and in the digestive tracts of animals. When C. tetani gets inside the body, it produces a toxin called tetanospasmin. Tetanospasmin affects the nervous system. It causes painful muscle spasms that worsen with time. The spasms occur in the mouth, throat, chest, neck, back, legs, and arms. The muscles can become so stiff that the victim has difficulty swallowing and breathing.

There is no cure for tetanus. Doctors use muscle relaxing drugs to manage symptoms until the effects of the tetanospasmin toxin wear off. The infection can be fatal, especially in those who have not been adequately vaccinated.

Fortunately, tetanus is very rare. Most children receive three doses of the tetanus vaccine (DTaP) during the first year of life and additional doses at 18 months and ages 6 and 11. It is recommended that adults get a tetanus booster (Td) every ten years. However, many adults forget until they are injured at put at risk.

Dogs can carry the tetanus bacteria in their mouths. If you are bitten by a dog in Wisconsin you will need a tetanus booster if:

  • You have not had three tetanus boosters in the past.
  • You have not received a booster in the past five years.

The dog owner is responsible for the cost of your tetanus booster and any other medical expenses. If the dog owner refuses responsibility, you will need the assistance of a Wausau dog bite attorney. If you qualify, the dog bite lawyers at Hupy and Abraham can help you get compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. To learn more, call us at 800-800-5678 and ask to schedule a free consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.