Our Dog Bite Ordeal and What You Need To Know About Dog Bite and Vaccination Here in the Philippines

San Lazaro Hospital -  Dog Bite and Vaccination Here in the Philippines

My son was bitten by a dog on his face, yes on his face on the 1st day of December 2017! My heart stopped for a while and I thought my whole world was gonna crush! Akala ko talaga mamamatay na ko sa sobrang sama ng loob! I never saw it, I was attending to my youngest daughter inside our house while the two boys were outside playing with their cousins. Their father was about to fetch them to go home when he saw his son running towards him crying with all the blood on his face. I would panic if I was there. Huminto talaga ng slight yung mundo ko. My partner instantly carried his son as one of my kumpare took them to the nearest hospital using his tricycle. It was so fast. When the neighbors where shouting and was telling me the whole story, a lot of bad things is coming thru my head. There were a lot of what if's and guilt inside me. When I finally calmed myself, I looked for Deus' Maxicare card, grabbed my atm's and a few cash then hailed a tricycle going to the hospital wearing only a sleeveless shirt and a short. While on the tricycle, I called Maxicare and asked for dog bite's coverage. The support told me that they can cover P18k of the vaccination. It made my worries subside for a while. Deus' face was full of bandage when I saw him while his father is carrying him. I hugged him right there and then. I assured him that everything will be ok. It hurts me so much remembering that time as I typing this. So it took me a long time to write this post as per my experience.

I am sure it will be really hard especially for a parent like me to deal with a dog's bite especially if your kid is at stake. Remember that a dog's bite is dangerous as their saliva contains rabies that might kill anyone. So I came up with what are the things that you need to know about dog bites and vaccination here in the Philippines.

1. There are categories of dog bites. When I got to the public hospital where Deus and his father at, I was informed that we need to transfer to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. San Lazaro Hospital is the only hospital that accepts the Category 3 conditions for dog bites. Category 3 means that the bite is at the upper part of the body. We were transferred via ambulance. 

San Lazaro - Dog Bite

2. Public Hospital sucks. The travel time from Antipolo to San Lazaro Hospital was bearable. But the waiting time to have your child assisted and vaccinated was not fair. We arrived at the hospital almost 7pm but we waited until 3am to have it finished. I almost forgot that last experience I had from a public hospital that I promised myself not to have myself check in any public hospital as much as possible. But the universe is not cooperating with me, it's like something's telling me that I have to experience this. So we don't have any options, we lined up and waited. We waited for a very long time. You don't know how we struggled because we had Deus, a three and 10 months old kid who gets bored easily. We first made a payment for Php50 which I forgot what's for. Deus had the skin test first but we waited for long hours before this. Then we had the PVRV shot that is free where you need to find someone to share it with. It was a hassle as the other security guard won't help us. We found our partner, a mom with a 10-month-old kid scratched by their cat on her left ear. Hours went by when Deus finally had the shot after. The doctor then instructed that we can go ahead and buy the ERIG (antirabies serum) which costs Php1,300 at the pharmacy. It was already midnight and yet only one nurse was assisting all the dog bites victims. There were younger children, younger than Deus, adults, and teens lined up for the shot and come almost 2AM no one was assisting us. The only nurse who is facilitating the vaccine had to go to the operating room to assist on a pregnant woman delivering birth. I was really agitated as I approached the nurse on the emergency. I wanted to know if we can have the last shot from a different hospital, better yet to a private hospital. The nurse whom I approached was hesitant to give me information. It seems like there is no other option and we need to wait until our hair gets gray and mosquitoes are feeding on our blood. I was persistent. I need to do what I got to do. She told me that it depends on the hospital if they have an animal bite section or else they will not accept us. I had my partner opened his mobile phone (my phone got drained and I don't have my power bank with me talking about emergencies when you need it) and his data so I can search up in Antipolo for Animal Bite hospitals. One hospital that is on the top list was Clinica Antipolo Hospital. This hospital is not new to me as I already blogged our experience there before. I crossed the street outside the hospital to look for a landline. Called up the emergency section and was glad that they do have animal bite section but they need to have the specific instruction for the ERIG shot. Going back to San Lazaro's emergency, the nurse was once again hesitant. But I told her that we will transfer to a different hospital and asked her if she can provide me the instructions. She wrote down the instructions on the paper and told me that anyone will be able to understand it which she didn't tell me in the first place. She told me that the nurse who was providing the shot is now available and will call the patients that are next in line. Because I don't want to wait anymore, (it's already 3AM for God's sake!) I booked UBER going to Clinica Antipolo and off we went. We finished the shot around 7AM. Yes, that is almost 12 freaking hours! I wouldn't go up all the way to San Lazaro if Clinica Antipolo can assist Category 3 animal bites. When I asked, Clinica actually accepts Category 3 which is ironic as the 1st public hospital that we went to called Clinica and they declined us. Maybe it depends on the severity of the animal bite case, you have to verify that from them. Thankful for the coverage of our Maxicare card as I don't want to deal with public hospitals, ever. 

San Lazaro - Dog Bite

3. Vaccination for dog bites is expensive and hard to find. There are different brands of vaccine for dog bites. The one that we had was free from San Lazaro Hospital. The maximum shots are up to 4. You can opt to get the 2nd, 3rd and 4th shot from San Lazaro hospital for free but we decided that it's not the best option for us. This is where my researching skills take place. I need to find the same brand of the vaccine near our place even if I have to pay for it. The brand that the San Lazaro have for animal bite has a brand name of Speeda and a generic name of PVRV. Remember that once you started with a specific brand for the animal vaccine, it needs to be the same until the last shot. I thought it would be very easy. Clinica Antipolo doesn't have this brand too. So I went all the way to upper Antipolo to look for that specific brand but even the City Health office of Antipolo doesn't have that kind. They also offer free vaccine but if we will get it there, my son needs to start all over again as they are using a different brand. Imagine all the injections my kid need to sacrifice. I can't bear it. Finally, they suggested that I ask SBI Medical and Animal Bite Center which is the nearest from our house (kung san san pa ako pumunta diba?). I called them and we can't understand each other on the phone so I had to go there personally. Luckily, they have the brand and it costs Php970 per shot! The tiny little prick on my heart was gone as I scheduled my son for his 2nd shot the next day. 

4. Know your rights. Now that I had all the shots scheduled, I also have to deal with the dog's owners. There were a lot of misunderstandings that it led to me complaining them to the Baranggay office. Knowing my rights that any animal owners who had their pet/animal bite someone have the obligation to pay for all the financial assistance the victim may need. It led to a heated argument that made me just negotiate though I still made them pay for the 4 vaccines. They paid for the 4 shots of vaccines. Magbibigay din naman pala sila, ang dame dame pang sinabi! They even told us that it was all our fault kasi pinabayaan daw namin ang anak namin. Who would have let their son got bitten by a dog anyway? I was so tired dealing with them and just want it all done. Minsan hindi naman ibig sabihin na sumusuko ka na eh talo ka na. It just means na, you don't want to deal with people na hindi naman marunong magpakumbaba. I let it all go. Since the day that it happened, I can't sleep and work well. I just prayed real hard to make me strong for Deus, to let me forgive them, and sana walang mangyaring masama sa anak ko.

Be sure to let them monitor their dogs for at least 14 days as the doses for the vaccines will change once the dog dies when it bites a person. Did I mention that we also need to have Deus eyes tested as it was also scratched? Good thing it was just his eyelid, not his eyeballs that was just slightly rubbed. All I want was compassion and acceptance of their fault. Sila pa nga yung matapang! I don't even need their money. The officials should have known better too. I am sure that the Brgy. Captain doesn't have any idea on what the law is kasi wala man lang syang reaction habang ako pa yung inaaway nung may-ari ng aso. It just showed that I am never really good at fights or arguments alone. I am not the kind of person who is into fighting. So it is helpful that you know your rights. I did not stood to their level and fight my way around instead. I let them say all they want but I didn't let them go without paying all the vaccines for Deus. Thankful that it is all done now.

To let you know more about your rights here's RA9482 The Anti-Rabies Act Section 5: Responsibilities of Pet Owner. - All Pet Owners shall be required to:

1. Have their Dog regularly vaccinated against Rabies and maintain a registration card which shall contain all vaccinations conducted on their Dog, for accurate record purposes.

2. Submit their Dogs for mandatory registration.
3. Maintain control over their Dog and not allow it to roam the streets or any Public Place without a leash.
4. Be a responsible Owner by providing their Dog with proper grooming, adequate foo, and clean shelter.
5. Within twenty-four (24) hours, report immediately any Dog biting incident to the Concerned Officials for investigation or for any appropriate action and place such Dog under observation by a government or private veterinarian.
6. Assist the Dog bite victim immediately and shoulder the medical expenses incurred and other incidental expenses relative to the victim’s injuries.

Nheng's Wonderland - Kuya Deus

Deus had his last shot last December 30, 2017. He is doing fine and active as ever. He is afraid of dogs as he's always been. And as I finished this post, I hope every one of us will be aware of the responsibility as a parent to a child and even to a dog. I don't want to pinpoint any person anymore on what had happened. I had forgiven them, forgiven myself and learned a lot from this ordeal. I am hoping and praying that this won't happen again, ever.

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