Prairie Dog Bites

By , September 7, 2008 4:37 am

 

The last number you want to call during travel is — yes, medical assistance. Well, there are times that you have to do this, just like today.

The story is, today, we went to the Budapest Zoo for the third time, and had a lot of fun with the lovely animals, until our little daughter got a bite on her right index finger from a prairie dog. It was about 6 o’clock in the afternoon. After feeding the goats and camals, we headed for the exit. Then we saw the prairie dogs on the road side that were being kept in the open air, enclosed by some relatively low glass fencies. They looked so lovely that we stopped to take a closer look, and the little one put her fingers over the glass fency to make some amusement. One of the prairie dogs became interested in her fingers, thinking that fresh food was coming. The little one decided to touch its head, but ended up with a cry that scared the animal away, and her right index finger bleeding.

We rushed to the tap water, washed the wound carefully, and squeezed out the dirty blood. We were not able to find a first aid kit at the zoo, so I wrapped her finger with some clean paper towel. We rushed back to the hotel via Metro, washed once more with soap, and got a bandage from the front desk. Following the front desk’s advice, we went to a pharmacy nearby to seek medical assistance. However, they were only able to administer Betadine (an antibiotic disinfection solution). We then went back to the hotel, found our Europ Assistance card, and dialed the emergency number. A lady in Shanghai (yes, back in China) picked up the phone, and we exchanged some basic information. About 20 minutes later, their agency in Budapest gave me a call, notifying me that a doctor will be coming soon. We waited for another 30 minutes, got another call from the hospital, telling me that they are sending an ambulence to bring us to the hospital. 10 minutes later, we were in an ambulence, with two emergency workers.

We went to a doctor station nearby. The doctor inspected the injury, and recommended us to the children’s hospital. At the children’s hospital, the doctor inspected the injury again, wash the finger with some brown color disinfection solution, determined that it was an epidermal injury, and wrapped it up again. Then they made a call with the zoo, confirmed that the prairie dogs have been properly immune, and reached the conclusion that no further treatment was needed. After paying 7,000 Hungarian Forints at the hospital, we went back to the hotel, where I paid another 15,000 Hungarian Forints (tips included) to the emergency workers. So, the total expense was 23,000 Hungarian Forints, a little bit less than 100 Euro’s.

The little one was crying in the zoo, and remained upset on our way back to the hotel. She felt aleep when we were heading for the pharmacy. When we were waiting for the ambulence we had some food and some fruits, which make her happy again. It is worth mentioning that she was extremely excited in the ambulence, laughing and singing all the way to the children’s hospital — while I was asking the emergency workers many questions in nervous.

So, we were back to the hotel room. The little one got her teeth brushed, and got a shower. After that she demanded a very very long story, which was satisfied. Now, she is sleeping, with a smile on her face.

8 Responses to “Prairie Dog Bites”

  1. qyjohn says:

    Prairie dog bites can be dangerous. In the worse case, unquarantined prairie dogs can be infected with monkeypox virus, which can be lethal for human beings. The incubation period of monkeypox is about 12 days (from 7 to 17 days). I must admit that I was scared when the little girl received the injury. When the doctors explained to me that the animals in the zoo were properly immune I felt a little bit released, but far from assured. I will have to closely monitor the little one’s status for two more weeks.

    Well, that’s life.

  2. Sin-Yaw Wang says:

    The question really is, “Why does the zoo allow small kids to get so close to the prairie dogs?”

  3. melaniegao says:

    How scary! I’m so glad she’s alright and that her parents were so resourceful in getting the right medical care for her.

  4. That is a LOT of panic for a parent! I know that I would be madly rushing to get my little girl to the nearest doctor and looking for ways to get all the best medicine right away. Here in Canada we have no worries about costs and a single call will bring an ambulance running. I am very glad that you had all the right contacts in place and made the right calls. I guess when I have to travel ( virtually never ) I buy BlueCross insurance as well as maybe one other just in case. I hope your little girl is okay and does not learn to fear all small animals. A little fear is a good thing … but not too much. You know what I mean I hope.

    One thing that bothers me is that there were no staff or supplies at the Zoo. It sounds like you were visiting a zoo which had no concern at all for the people that visit. Just my thoughts.

  5. 紫竹 says:

    没事就好。

  6. Zhengyu says:

    I agree “a little fear is a good thing”. But after reading your own stories of your childhood mischief, I guess that’s all in the gene.

    Best wishes for the little one.

  7. barbara says:

    would love do adopt another p dog they r so lovable and so cute as pets is there a place to adopt or buy?

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