A colleague sent this leading in with “you can’t make this stuff up.”  He was right.

Here’s the Cole’s notes version of the story of a couple’s visit to a Louisiana truck stop.

  • A Florida couple stops at a roadside rest stop that has some animals on display as attractions.
  • Their (apparently poorly restrained) small dog enters a pen with a camel, where there are numerous signs warning visitors to keep out.
  • The woman nonetheless crawls into the pen and somehow ends up with the camel sitting on her.
  • Her method of getting the camel up is to bite it… on the genitals.
    • Well, I guess that would work.
    • And, to top it off, it occurred on a Wednesday (hump day).

Part of me just wants to post this to tell the story.  The other part wants to use it as a lead-in to discussing when antibiotics are needed after a bite.

The camel in question got prophylactic antibiotics. That’s actually a reasonable plan for a bite over higher-risk area like the genitals. However, it appears that the antibiotics were started five days after the bite, well beyond the window for preventing infection, so they were unlikely to be of any benefit.

So, when are antibiotics indicated after a bite (for any species, by any species)?

  • In general, antibiotics are indicated when there’s high risk of an infection or a high risk that an infection would cause serious problems.
  • Typically, that includes bites to individuals who have compromised immune systems, ncluding (especially) those who don’t have a functional spleen. They’re at greater risk of developing a serious infection.
  • Situations where infections are potentially of greater consequence would include bites over tendons, joints or nerves (so, pretty much any bite over the hands, wrists or ankles), bites over prosthetic devices, bites to the face and bites to the genitals.

Avoiding getting bitten is an even better approach.

Getting sat on by a camel, or biting a camel…. well, that brings in a whole different set of issues.