A few years back, we had a big snow. Well, a big snow for us. We actually had snow on the ground for a couple of days and around 12 inches of snow. Of course school was out for a few days and the kids were in heaven!!
When it snows, our town basically shuts down – except for the sledding hill. The whole town runs to it like they can’t get there fast enough! Neighbors you haven’t seen in ages will be out sledding – young and old. Its actually a pretty fun time.
Our family was enjoying sledding time and our daughter, Brooke, decided to go home with a friend to play for the afternoon. While Brooke and her friend were playing outside, 2 stray dogs came up and they played with them in the yard. The dogs were nice and friendly, but according to the other mom, it was evident that they were strays from their appearance. All was well with the two girls playing with the dogs until one of the dogs got a little rambunctious and nipped at the girls a bit while playing. No big deal, but one of the dogs broke the skin on Brooke’s arm while playing.
I picked up Brooke later from her friend’s house and they told me the story. I didn’t think too much about it because the mark was really small. However, as the afternoon progressed I thought maybe I should call the pediatrician’s office just to make sure all was okay.
When I called the doctor’s office, they freaked me out! They said that she could have rabies if this was a stray dog and we need to take her to the Emergency Room. Rabies! WHAT????? For sure my child couldn’t have rabies!!!
So my options were:
1. Take Brooke to the ER for them to assess whether she had rabies or rabies exposure.
2. Take our chances to see if developed into rabies or not, and if it did, it would probably be fatal.
Great choices right??? I knew the likelihood of the dog actually having rabies was small, but what if I made the wrong choice and something happened to Brooke? I couldn’t replace her!!!
So………….. off we went to the hospital. She was assessed at the hospital and of course they decided we should proceed with the rabies shots, just in case. B was such a trooper! She had to get 3 shots that night and she was sooooo brave.
We then found out that the course for rabies shots is continuing. She had to go back to the ER after 3 days for another shot, 7 days for another shot, 14 days, 21 days and 28 days. We also discovered on this little adventure that the Emergency Department is the only place that stocks rabies vaccination shots. Evidently, they have a short shelf-life and are VERY expensive. Therefore, the only place that stocks them is the hospital – not the doctor’s offices or health department – I checked!
Some of you may be thinking ahead to see where I am going with this…….. If you go to the ER, its a different copay with insurance. For us, it was about a $200 copay each time we went to the ER. So if you are keeping up with the math, that’s around $1,000 for just the copays – doesn’t count the co-insurance that we had to pay. This little tryst in the snow turned out to be an expensive one!
As we traveled back and forth to the hospital, we tried to joke with Brooke about getting a rabies tag like our dog. So at the end of her rabies series, I went to the jewelry store and bought a silver necklace and charm. On one side of the charm is her monogram. On the other side is the date of her last rabies shot (see in photo). So Brooke may be the only human with her own rabies tag : )
We have joked many times that if we see a stray cat or dog in the future, we need to send Brooke in to check it out. She can’t get rabies, so she’s the official family animal checker. Crazy raccoon? Send Brooke in. Wild squirrel? Brooke’s your girl!
A funny thing happened as we were going through the series of shots. I was home one day and “Little House on the Prairie” came on TV. Crazy enough, Laura (on the show) had adopted a pet raccoon and then it bit her one day and started acting wild. The town vet/doctor said the raccoon had “hydrophobie”and if Laura developed signs, she was likely to die. They quarantined Laura and watched her for about a week, expecting her to show signs any minute. Very emotional. I cried, and cried and cried!! That hydrophobie story-line really got to me : )
For all her courage and good-nature about the process, Brooke is my favorite today : )
Avery 1/-4 Brooke 4/-1 Kate 8/-7 Jack 1/-2 Husband 3/-2 Me 0/-1