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Got scratched by dog few years back. Not taken any vaccination. Should I be worried for rabies?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5367 Questions
Dear Doctor,
I had scratch by a dog in my locality nearly 8 years back and got no vaccinated myself because honestly on that time I was not fully aware about the decease. I am not confident that the scratch was by nail or teeth but I remember that the scratch was so mild, no bleeding only redish colored.
I remember the dog was sleeping and I unwillingly step on the dog and the dog was just run away . After when I went in my room I found there was a scratch symbol below my knee. Unfortunately could not watch the dog next
Trust me doctor I went just forget the incident but suddenly I found in internet that the rabies can take affect by several years and as soon as I notice it I started to feel fear and anxiety.
Then I was talked to a person who is working in Pesteur institute in Kolkata he suggested that rabies can occur within a year not that long time.
Please suggest can I be relax by that person’s suggestion??
Posted Thu, 9 May 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 3 hours later

Thank you for the query.

In extremely rare cases it can take up to a ONE YEAR for rabies to develop. But mostly it takes 2 months. 8 years is long enough to be relaxed and not bother about it. You would be dead in a year if the dog had infected you. So really no reason to worry at all.
Moreover it is impossible to get infected through a nail scratch and very hard to get infected through a tooth scratch. It needs to be a contact between the saliva of the dog and your muscles. So it really does not seem possible.
So please relax and do not worry about it at all.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got scratched by dog few years back. Not taken any vaccination. Should I be worried for rabies? 14 hours later
Many Many Thanks to you Doctor. You now really releive me from this fear. Moreover I only have confusion for those web site that mentioned article on several years of rabies incubation, we know there are lot of people got dog bite many years back and if they read information from that web site they may really become axiety and get crazy.

If I could, trust me I would have convince them not to publish the own made information which affect milions of people.

I now learned not to take any decision by reading from website regarding deacese, we should consult the doctor only.

Again Thanks Doctor. Now I really be relax from your suggesion
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 8 hours later
Well, the point is that the Internet can be created by every person. So some of information are very professional, some are completely not true. The trick is to choose which can be true and which can not be.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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