with kids, the adventure never ends

OK remember that my YOUNGEST child is 21 but there is still plenty of excitement to be had from having kids…

Elaine rescued a puppy that she found wandering in the cold behind her apartment. “Awwwwww Mom he’s so cute!” She sent me a picture. Then her roommate objected, so the puppy was farmed out to a friend who had a yard. Next day, puppy’s human happens by: “Hey, that’s my dog!” He reclaims the puppy and disappears. Happy ending.

When Elaine told me this, she added, “But he really tore up my hand.”

“You mean he scratched you? Poor little guy he was probably frightened.”

“No Mom HE BIT ME. Right on the finger. Pretty deep.”

Ohhhhh-kaaaaaay for those keeping score at home, my kid has been bit by a stray dog whose whereabouts she’ll never be able to trace.

So off to the ER goes my daughter the aspiring nurse, where she learned that most IM injections are a maximum of 1 milliliter, but she will get 3 injections - 3ml, 3ml and 2ml each - of rabies immunoglobulin to start protecting her. For good measure, she got her first rabies vaccine AND a tetanus shot.

The good news: the bite healed nicely and she didn’t have a bad reaction to any of the initial injections. She’s had two more rabies vaccines since (1ml each, thank you very much) and has two more to go, for a total of five vaccines.

And more good news! If she is ever dumb enough to pick up a stray animal again, she’s protected against rabies!! If she gets bit again, she “just” needs a booster vaccine. Whew, THAT’s a relief.

Last year I had a teenage patient who got exposed to bats at summer camp, and thus needed rabies shots, and his mom went through the entire episode rolling her eyes. Boy, can I relate.

Oh, and for those of you wondering: rabies vaccine is NOT given in the stomach and it’s only about as painful as any other immunization. The immunoglobulin is just painful because of the amount, which is calculated by weight.

I can’t wait to find out what this is going to cost. My insurance company has already said they won’t pay for the two subsequent ER visits, but there wasn’t any other way for her to get the shots. Oh boy, good times a’comin’ with that one.

Here’s another interesting factoid that I learned from my sister, the former vet tech: rabies vaccines for animals are underwritten by the state because they really don’t want domestic animals getting rabies (obviously). So rabies shots for humans are $$$expensive$$$ (like, a thousand dollars? I’ve heard) but rabies shots for dogs and cats, very cheap. Makes sense to me.

Parenting: it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.


Glad to hear your daughter will be fine, Mary. I guess I should enjoy the days while my daughter is too young to get into TOO much trouble while I can. (Although, she did make an impressive effort to eat a penny the other day and only a fantastic dive across the bedroom on my part saved THAT from being a fiasco).

For those of you wondering, two rabies vaccine packages (dried powdered vaccine, diluent, syringe) were $415.90. Optimum Choice didn’t pay for that, either. Well, it was way cheaper than I expected it to be so it’s sort of a good news - bad news situation.

I’m just glad you were able to get them for her. When I worked as a vet tech, we were all given the series, and while I hope never to get bitten, it IS nice to know all that would be required is a booster!