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Tetanus jab: dog bites and rusty nails, who is BU.

(30 Posts)
Moohoomeltdown Wed 25-Nov-15 19:14:50

DH and I having a chat about reasons you might get a tetanus jab as we are bathing DS (as you do!)

One of us says you might get it if you were bitten by a dog. The other pulls the hmm face and says a rusty nail is far more likely.

So a discussion ensues about which is more likely in real life. We both think the other is being unreasonable so vipers...which is it? Dog bite or rusty nail!??!

smile vote now.

Please prove I'm right wink

DawnOfTheDoggers Wed 25-Nov-15 19:16:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KatieLatie Wed 25-Nov-15 19:17:42


GrinAndTonic Wed 25-Nov-15 19:18:21

Both. Well in Australia anyway you would get a tetanus booster.

Wholelottawe1ght Wed 25-Nov-15 19:19:14

Is infection really common from these type of injuries? Iv not had a tetanus for almost ten yrs amd only got that has got hit by a car left with junk out my foot.

ghostyslovesheep Wed 25-Nov-15 19:19:20


GloGirl Wed 25-Nov-15 19:20:25

Dog bite.

I have ahole in my leg from a recent bite to add weight to my argument.

KatyN Wed 25-Nov-15 19:20:58

I am on the rusty nail side, but I tend to steer clear of dogs and more likely to climb fences.

GlomOfNit Wed 25-Nov-15 19:28:31

It's not necessarily what made the wound, but what sort of wound it is. (AFAIK) So a puncture wound is far more likely to be infected by the bacilli than a shallow scrape. A dog bite and a nail puncture are both puncture wounds. Deep and hard to clean out.

spritefairy Wed 25-Nov-15 19:38:56


AuntieStella Wed 25-Nov-15 19:40:22

Tetanus bacteria tend to live on the ground. So more likely from the nail into the foot type puncture wound. Or cuts when you're gardening and get soil into broken skin.

AuntieStella Wed 25-Nov-15 19:41:03

Of course, if the dog is a coprophage it would be equally likely.

limitedperiodonly Wed 25-Nov-15 19:41:24

Neither or both.

Tetanus bacteria live in the soil.

A dog bite will probably not introduce tetanus though it may introduce other bacteria. A human bite is probably more risky in terms of infection btw. Animals' mouths are either cleaner than humans' or we are more wary of letting animals bite us.

Rust does not carry tetanus but stepping on a nail in the garden, rusty or otherwise, causes a wound that might allow tetanus bacteria in the soil to enter.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 25-Nov-15 19:42:30

The tetanus bacillus lives in the soil and dogs are not very susceptible to tetanus.
If the dog eats soil yes then the dog bite is a risk, if the rusty nail is on the ground then it's a risk.
As vet I have been bitten by dogs and have never had my tetanus updated, but when bitten by a cow with tetanus then I was given a tetanus shot.

FishOn Wed 25-Nov-15 19:43:48

last time I had one was when I fell onto a ski and split my elbow open <random>

Birdsgottafly Wed 25-Nov-15 19:49:24

Both, but statistically the rusty nail would cause Tetanus.

I've know three people who have had a foot amputated, after gardening/DIY.

I knew one person who died of Tetanus after breaking a glass and standing on it and ignoring the advice to get vaccinated. It was tragic, she was only 20.

shinynewusername Wed 25-Nov-15 19:49:09

A pedant doctor writes:

A tetanus booster is not the right treatment in either situation - which is one reason why they are rarely given in A&E these days. Tetanus immunisations do not work immediately, so are not effective in preventing tetanus if you have already been wounded.

If you have a tetanus-prone wound and are not already immunised, you need tetanus immunoglobulin. I might give it for a dog bite or rusty nail injury as both can be tetanus-prone (depends on the depth and size of wound, amount of contamination etc). However, this is rarely necessary as, provided you have had 5 immunisations at appropriate intervals in your lifetime, you are considered immune to tetanus.

So you are both right and both wrong smile

MrsJayy Wed 25-Nov-15 19:52:13

Both although my cat fell on my face (dont ask) years ago and I got a tetanus jab they last for 10 years i think

MelcombeBingham Wed 25-Nov-15 19:53:57

I love pedant doctors! Will you do a nightly frequently asked questions slot?

MelcombeBingham Wed 25-Nov-15 19:56:57

The answer is clear.
Neither. It's a cat scratch you need to worry about.
If you are a MNer, there will be a cat in your garden who digs in the earth before pooing and pretending it was a fox/badger/other random explanation.
Cat has earth on its feet, scratches you and you get tetanus.
There's another reason for people to hate cats and post endless threads about killing them...

shinynewusername Wed 25-Nov-15 20:01:33

If given enough cake, Melcombe....

winchester1 Wed 25-Nov-15 20:10:36

I'd say neither I've trodden on nails and been bitten twice (diff occasions), I've had no offer / need for a tetanus so far.

Moohoomeltdown Wed 25-Nov-15 21:09:15

I love it! Cow bites, skiing mishaps, cats falling onto faces, soil bacteria and pedant doctors....

I've learned a lot tonight. And best of all I wasn't being unreasonable. I'll settle for both right and both wrong.

Thanks all!

StarkyTheDirewolf Wed 25-Nov-15 21:13:26

Dh had tetanus jab when a man bit his ear off don't ask
Dad had a tetanus jab when a large spider made him jump and he put his hand on a rusty nail.


saraht84 Wed 25-Nov-15 21:46:10

Possibly neither. I stepped on a rusty nail at work and it made itself at home in my flesh. Sent off to the hospital and I was told I was wasting their time - tetanus jab wasn't needed. They cleaned the hole in my foot and sent me away.

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