There was a tokay gecko at the restaurant near my home and the owners wanted it gone because it was defecating all over their kitchen. A couple of weeks ago I saw it on the wall so I grabbed a kitchen towel to protect myself from it’s blood-drawing bite and captured it. I then proudly showed the owners the big gecko and one of them asked if he could kill it which is what they probably do to any tokay geckos that try taking up residence at their restaurant.
I was like why would you want to kill such a beautiful specimen when you could just walk across the street, a little ways into the forest, and release it into the wild. I told them that’s where I was headed and that I first just wanted to show them the fellow that’s been shitting all over their kitchen. The point of this introduction is to tell you that I had no reason to venture out onto the road and into the forest that night and only did so so I could release this tokay gecko.
I walked up my drive way, across the street, down into the woods, and released the gecko next to some trees near my river swimming spot. I then headed back with a sense of accomplishment however on the way back down my driveway I was ambushed by some half-wild dogs which belong to one of my ignorant and irresponsible neighbors. Luckily there’s a good 150 meters from my house and theirs, unfortunately every time I go in or out I have to pass by their unchained, un-neutered, and until recently unvaccinated dogs.
It wasn’t a particularly bad bite, just a single tooth puncture on my heel, but any bite is bad if it breaks your skin and your blood mixes with the saliva of a mangy scar faced dog. The most urgent and important thing you can do after being bitten by a dog or any other animal is to wash the wound so that’s what I did. It was almost 8pm and my landlord said I could go to the hospital in the morning and get shots. I was like are you crazy/stupid? Do you think I’m going to go to bed and give this mangy dog saliva a 12 hour head start before I get any shots?
Luckily her son just happened to show up and I had him take me to the hospital in the city which is about a 30 minute drive away. On the way I learned that Thailand was in the midst of a rabies outbreak with more cases thus far this year than in recent years. I also learned that if you had never been vaccinated for rabies in addition to the vaccine you also need to get rabies immunoglobulin injected around wound site and in both sides of the ass for a total of 5 stabs with a thick needle, definitely not one of those cute little needles they use to draw blood for a blood test.
In addition to the rabies immunoglobulin you need a rabies vaccine shot in one arm and a tetanus shot in the other so you’re stabbed in 7 different spots and injected with 3 types of foreign fluids. As for the fluids there are two types of rabies immunoglobulin, one type comes from a horse and the other comes from a human. I obviously wanted the stuff that comes from my species the problem is it’s in short supply and if you think $110 for the horse stuff is expensive you won’t be happy to find out that the human stuff costs $515. Ouch in the pocket, in the foot, and in both sides of the ass.
I spent around $600 over the past two weeks. I thought this was expensive until I read on the CDC website “Although the cost varies, a course of rabies immune globulin and four doses of vaccine given over a two-week period typically exceeds $3,000.”. In addition to the rabies immunoglobulin options there are a few different kinds of rabies vaccines. Fortunately I got the one I wanted the first night, unfortunately they later ran out of it and I was unable to finish my 4 shot vaccination schedule with the same vaccine I started with so I had to look around for a replacement that preferably didn’t have any mercury-based preservatives or other nasty stuff in it like formaldehyde both of which I probably had injected in me with the tetanus shot. I found a suitable substitute for the Verorab called Speeda and received my last shot yesterday.
As for holding people accountable and trying to prevent this from happening again to me or anyone else in the future it’s been another pain in the ass having to deal with people who are as smart as logs and as poor as gravel. Moreover a few hours ago only a half kilometer or so from my house I passed by 5 other unchained, un-neutered, and most likely unvaccinated dogs gathered on the side of the road, two of which were stuck together by the crotch which means I can probably look forward to a new litter in two months or so. Hopefully I will have left here by time that batch takes to my only street to the main road and starts blocking my downhill skateboard path like its parents often do but before I relocate as previously planned I need to make a video on this issue in Thai in hopes it will at least help raise awareness and help push back against the people and groups that place the health, safety, and well-being of dogs over that of children and other innocent people.