Those of you on Facebook may have noticed my status last night. I was bitten quite badly on my finger by Melek. It was quite by accident and not her fault. I was giving the pups a snack around 8.30pm. I forget how big they are getting and Melek jumped to grab the snack from my hand and got my finger instead.
I had an x-ray at the hospital, a tetanus jab and the first in a course of Rabies jabs. It's this that is really the purpose of this post. To make it clear what should happen in Turkey if you get bitten by a dog or cat.
Mr A came over from Bodrum and took me to the small private hospital A&E in Milas centre. The doctor there said that I must have a rabies jab. We explained that I was bitten by my dog who, along with all my dogs, has had rabies vaccination.
He said it didn't matter, that latest Government legislation insists we have the rabies jabs anyway, but that they have to be done at the devlet (government) hospitals. So we set off to the devlet hospital outside Milas.
We also told the doctor there that our dog had been vaccinated. He said as we had no proof, then I would be given the first jab. I was given a form with the dates for the remainder of the course, which he said should be done at the devlet hospital outpatients clinic. However, he did say that if I took the dog's kimlik (pet passport) to the clinic to show proof of vaccination, then I wouldn't have to have the remaining jabs
So I am assuming by all this that if I had thought to take the dog's kimlik with me, then I wouldn't have had to have the 1st jab. (Although it does slightly contradict what the doctor at the private hospital said).
As usual, nothing in Turkey is completely straightforward, but I would advise anyone who is bitten by a cat or dog and the skin is broken, to get it checked out and if it is an unvaccinated animal, then get the course of rabies jabs. Apart from the rabies risk, there is always a chance of infection, and tetanus jabs should be done every 10 years.
If you are bitten by a vaccinated animal, take the kimlik with you to the hospital, and you may avoid the rabies jabs altogether.
Many of you may already know all this, but just in case you don't, I thought it worth mentioning.
My bite wasn't stitched by the way. The doctor said fingers heal faster without stitches. I hope this is true, because it actually looks a lot worse today. I have found a few steristrips in my first aid box, which I am currently using to keep the wound together. Fingers crossed (excuse the pun) that this does the trick!