Dog Bites & Tetanus Shot

Written by ann ryan
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Dog Bites & Tetanus Shot
Tetanus shots are recommended to prevent lockjaw. (injection image by sasha from

If you receive a dog bite that results in an open wound or bleeding, obtaining a tetanus shot may be imperative. You'll need to obtain a shot if you haven't been vaccinated within the last five years. Timing is critical; therefore, you need to make arrangements to receive the vaccine within 72 hours after being bit. Tetanus is an acute disease that can be fatal. Two of the major symptoms include spasmodic contractions and rigidity of the voluntary muscles. The disease is also known as lockjaw.

How Tetanus is Spread

Dogs can carry the tetanus bacterium through their saliva. Therefore, the tetanus bacterium can enter your system when a dog bites you.

Obtaining a Tetanus Shot

If you haven't had a tetanus shot in the past five years, you will have to obtain one from your family doctor or go to an emergency room and receive the vaccination immediately.

Timing is Critical

It's critical that your receive a tetanus shot within 72 hours after you are bitten.

Tetanus Shots for Children

If your child is bitten by a dog, and hasn't received a tetanus shot within the last 10 years, then you will immediately need to make arrangements for him to receive the vaccine.


It's important you obtain a shot if you are bitten as tetanus is a potentially fatal disease. As stated, symptoms include muscle rigidity and spasmodic contractions of the voluntary muscles.

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