What Does it Cost to Treat Rabies After a Dog Bite?

Categories: Dog Bites

rabid dog

Dog Attack Attorney Serving Victims of Rabies from Dog Bites in Philadelphia

When most people think of a dog attack, they think of scars, bites, and emotional trauma. However, there is one risk and injury that many do not consider: Rabies. A dog that is vicious and attacks without provocation could be infected with Rabies. Doctors are likely to test both you and the dog after a dog attack, to see if you have been infected with this virus.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that transmits via a dog’s saliva; it can be easily transmitted during an attack. The virus itself is one of the oldest on Earth, according to the World Health Organization. Once you develop symptoms of the virus, there is no treatment. Therefore, you must prevent it through vaccination.

There are two forms of Rabies: Paralytic and frantic. Frantic is the most common form among dogs and humans. Dogs are responsible for the vast majority of human infections in the world, which is why most states require Rabies vaccinations and boosters for all dogs registered in the state.

Under Statute Section 10-103, all dogs and cats in the state of Pennsylvania must be vaccinated for Rabies, and owners must have a signed vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian. They must also have a license and Rabies vaccination tag on them always.

How is Rabies Treated?

If the dog tests positive for Rabies, then your physician might decide that a vaccination is necessary to prevent your development of symptoms. Rabies is very painful; while the vaccination prevents the virus from infecting your body, the treatment itself is extensive and costly.

Post-exposure treatment in the United States involves:

  • One dosage of immunoglobulin
  • Four doses of a Rabies vaccination administered over a 14-day period (typically days 1, 3, 7, and 14)

In the past, treatments were injected into the stomach, but today, the vaccinations are much more advanced and can be administered like a flu vaccine by injection into the arm. However, the arm will have a painful sore during the two-week treatment.

The cost of a post-exposure Rabies treatment is extensive. Hospitals in the area do not carry the vaccination. Instead, it must be ordered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a select hospital facility that is a registered carrier; therefore, the vaccination will likely be transported. Per the CDC, the current costs for a series of post-exposure treatments exceeds $3,000. This does not account for the physician’s fee, hospitalization, lost wages from work, and of course the other injuries associated with the dog attack. Dog attacks may require other costly treatments, including plastic surgery.

Attacked by a Rabies-Infected Dog? You Might be Eligible for Compensation

Owners are required to maintain their dogs’ Rabies vaccinations and protect the public from a vicious dog. Any owners who fail to vaccinate their dogs could be held liable for Rabies infections, as well as the damages associated with a dog attack.

To explore your options, speak with a dog attack attorney in Pennsylvania by calling Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. You can reach him directly by calling his cell phone at 215-771-0430 or the office at 215-987-3550. You can also contact him online to schedule an appointment.