KITSILANO, British Columbia, July 27 (UPI) — A Canadian man was denied rabies shots after a raccoon bite because of low risk and the vaccination’s cost to the province, officials said.
Brian Bruce, 31, of Kitsilano, said a raccoon lunged at his two dogs last week and then leaped on him, biting him on the thigh and leaving four distinct teeth marks, the Vancouver Sun reported Monday.
Bruce said his dogs were vaccinated by a veterinarian and he was given antibiotics for the wound, but was denied the rabies vaccination.
The treatment costs the province approximately $1,000 and involves a series of six shots. Supplies are limited, the Sun reported.
In British Columbia, it ordinarily takes a bat bite to get a shot, the Sun said.
“We know that bats in B.C. do carry rabies, though it’s only a small percentage,” said medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health, Dr. Meena Dawar.
Bruce said, after conferring with Dawar, he understands the risks to his health are low statistically.
But that’s small comfort considering untreated rabies is almost always fatal.
“You look down and see the bite there and it feels like you’re holding that lottery ticket of bad luck,” Bruce said.
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