November 5, 2008

"Jogger runs mile with rabid fox locked on her arm."

Jogger runs mile with rabid fox locked on her arm!


After the fox bit her on the foot, she decided to catch it and bring it in for testing. This led to additional biting. That was a bad move. She had some hope of avoiding rabies shots, if she successfully brought the animal in for testing and it was not rabid, but do you know that if you are bitten badly enough, the rabies shots might not save your life? I learned this from expert doctors who interviewed me at the UW Hospital after I was bitten by a bat. I wanted to know if the shots ever failed, and they cited some cases in which a person received large, tearing bites from a wolf. Don't tangle with a wild animal. Just get the shots. They are not that bad.


Will Conway said...

umm... well that's odd :/

SteveR said...

I did not know that but I recall the tales told when I was a kid about finding the animal who bit you because the shote were so horrible.

Unneccessary parental advice second only, perhaps, to staying out of the water for some random period of time after eating to avoid cramping up and drowning.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

What about the Fox? Pretty impressive that he held on to her arm for over a mile.

Foxes get no respect.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Not a myth. The shots were horrible.

When I was 3 years old or so, I was bit in the face by a dog. They decided to go ahead with the rabies shots while the animal was being tested for rabies because the bite was on my head. The shots then consisted of 20 to 23 shots in the abdomen and were very very painful.

I don't remember any of this, thankfully, but after a couple of shots my 3 year old mind figured it out and I would go kicking and screaming under the bed or try to escape anyway I could. After about 14 shots the test came back negative and they stopped. My parents said they suffered from terrible guilt and felt like they were torturing me everytime they had to physically restrain me or tie me up to get me to the hospital for the shots. Ah... the 1950's were great :-<

For several years afterwards I would go into screaming hysterics at the sight of a person in a white coat. Until I was a teenager, I would literally pass out at the sight of a needle and refused to have novacaine shots for my teeth. Even today, I get nauseated and break out in a cold sweat at the thought of a shot, blood draw or sight of an injection needle.

Bissage said...

Don't tangle with a wild animal. Just get the shots. They are not that bad.

That sounds like good advice but I was never offered the choice.

I made it to the clinic, all right, but the worst part was when the doctor shoved a giant Q-Tip in there to take a specimen.

I’d have much preferred to have just gotten the shots.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not a myth. The shots were horrible."


It's not like that anymore. I had rabies shots when I was bitten by the bat. They were in the arm, and there were nothing like 20 shots.

Susan said...

One of my favorite segments
is John Horgan telling a harrowing tale of a run-in with a rabid skunk. He tells a great story and then fascinating facts that he subsequently found out about the rabies virus.

Ron said...

Huh! Doesn't anyone remember Sweets' Fox on the Run?


Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's not like that anymore. I had rabies shots when I was bitten by the bat. They were in the arm, and there were nothing like 20 shots.

Yes, that's what I said. The shots then were 20 in the abdomen. Now, they are not bad at all. Progress.

People who have pets that interface with the outdoors should keep their furry friends vaccinated against rabies as well.

We also don't have to have smallpox vaccinations or take polio serum anymore either.

Remember the little pink cups of polio vaccine we had to drink?

T Mack said...

Maybe that explains it, your support for Obama, breaking your oath.
I say you have a slow forming rabies in your head.
Then again you are definitely not the only law professor who believes it is okay to break the law if you want something bad enough.(Obama's KNOWINGLY accepting donations by credit card from foreignors and people over the limit.)

Cedarford said...

Pre-Terrorist Evildoer days, we had a rabid coyote running around on the grounds of a nuclear power plant one night. It went after one operator who escaped climbing up a pipe. The operators were worried they could not do some equipment chacks in a time Fed law required them to.
The plant security force had shotguns, AR-15s, 9mm arms - but their Rules for Lethal Force use did not cover rabid coyotes unless the critter was actually attacking or about to attack someone - then it was "lifesaving, and weapons discharge was allowed". The police had to be called.
The cops were non-hunters and promptly spooked the coyote into an outdoor turbine area with 1,000 psi steam pipes - were told shooting might end up killing them instead if they shot a high pressure component. Then they chased it when it got out into the open, right into brush cover. Took 3-4 shots at it over the next few hours, then the thing went at them as being chased through scrub and being shot at finally ticked it's rabid brain off. Down it went in a fusillade. The local papers later described the cops as "heroes".

The week afterwards, plant security received "clarification" that they could shoot a dangerous animal in the Owner Controlled Area.

BTW, on bats, or other wild animals, the info is not well communicated to families. The "unbelievable pain" of the old shots in the 50s is still communicated as reality and some people fear the shots so much they go into denial - "it really wasn't much of a bite, I disinfected it immediately...."

They don't know when traveling, the countries where rabies and some other nasty animal-born diseases is common..

And there have been a few cases where people have gotten and died of rabies, or got seriously sickened from other animal disease despite not being bitten. One of the few rabies survivors, a girl in Indiana, picked up a dead or dying bat and apparantly got infected from a claw scratch or from virus on the fur getting in a small cut or other skin opening (because when the animal licks, saliva and virus gets on the claws and fur).

Original George said...

Now, wait a second....You vote for Obama...and now you tell us you were bitten by a you will tell us that you are bothered by the scent of garlic...

blake said...

What, no video?

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe that explains it, your support for Obama, breaking your oath."

I did not break the vow. The vow only applied until the end of September.

Harwood said...

...after I was bitten by a bat.
How did that affect the bat?

Trooper York said...

Catwoman: I could give you more happiness than anyone in the world.
Batman: How do you propose to do that?
Catwoman: By being your partner in life, I mean it's me and you against the world.
Batman: What about Robin?
Catwoman: Hmmm. . . I know. We'll kill him.
Batman: Sorry Cat woman, you will just have to find something else to do with you life.
Catwoman: Well I was planning to go to law school. I know, maybe I can become a professor.
Batman; Ok, that sounds like fun. Oh by the way, can I bite you on the ass.
Catwoman: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Batman...ppppuuuuurrrrrrrrr!!!!!!
Batman: Please calm yourself woman. And you a future law professor.
(Batman, Catwoman Goes to College Season 2 episode 49]

Mark O said...

Damn city kids. Fox? Bat? Petting zoo.

Methadras said...

Harwood said...

How did that affect the bat?

It kept flying to the left.

Trooper York said...

"And after further investigation it was determined that it was actually a young man named Simon in a bat costume that had bitten the tenured professor on her backside while stalking her in the parking lot. So the shots were discontinued.

Now you know the rest of the story."
(Paul Harvey, 9/18/01)

Meade said...

"I did not break the vow. The vow only applied until the end of September."

This needs to go on your banner for several days unless you like having to explain it again and again to every foul weather reader who failed to pay half attention during class.

EDH said...


I just looked up the advance stage symptoms of rabies (hydrophobia): "showing panic when presented with liquids to drink", "cannot quench thirst," and "difficulty swallowing."

Symptoms, it would seem, easily confused with the preternatural aversion most women have toward visiting singles bars.

BJM said...

File this story under "Thinning out the herd".

MarkW said...

Yes, that's what I said. The shots then were 20 in the abdomen. Now, they are not bad at all. Progress.

My recent experience is that they're still pretty bad -- I had 4 enormous shots of immunoglobulin in the butt on the first day. I swear it took 30 seconds to drain each syringe. The boosters after 1, 2, and 4 weeks are small and pretty much nothing but those first 4 shots were really nasty (although obviously not as bad as running a mile with a rabid fox gnawing on your arm).

Apparently, though, the dose of immunoglobulin varies by weight and I'm about 200 lbs, so it wouldn't be as bad for a smaller woman.

bill said...

For the Halloween edition of This American Life, one of the stories was someone being attacked by a raccoon and having the raccoon beaten to death with a tire iron. Then the hospital confusion over getting the rabies shot. Pretty gruesome.

AllenS said...

A rabid fox has never bitten Chuck Norris, nor Sarah Palin. Coincidence? I think not.

Tibore said...

Well, even if it was a bad move for the woman personally, it ends up being a good move for the area in general. One rabid animal is removed from the wild, and Animal Control, as well as the local medical establishment are aware of the presence of a rabid animal, and if one was caught, that means others are close by.

I wonder what Animal Control departments in various areas do when they have credible, hard evidence of rabies infections in their areas. I doubt that they suddenly go hunting, but I wonder what they do do.


I remember getting bit as a child and undergoing some shots too, back in the 70's. That must've been after the introduction of the intramuscular (not abdominal) shot, because I don't remember taking an injection in the gut. Either that, or I've blanked out the episode :) . Anyway, that was bad enough for a child; I can't imagine what the abdominal shot would've been like.


Heh... I never knew this before now. Did anyone else know that there is a documented case of someone surviving an infection without immediate post-bite treatment with a "PEP" (post-exposure prophylactic... i.e. a rabies shot)?


That's amazing. I thought rabies was universally fatal. Not that a single case out of the thousands/hundreds of thousands/whatever in the past means that the threat is mitigated. Far from it. I just mention it as a medical curiosity.

blake said...

You know--why didn't she just kill the damn thing?