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Got grazed by dog without up to date vaccinations. Do I need to go to the doctor?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 5125 Questions
I was at petco yesterday getting my dog his shots. My hands were behind my back and a dog came up a grazed them with his teeth. After speaking with the owner I found out that something had bit the dog and he wasn't up to date on shots. His last shot was 3 yrs ago. Do I need to go to doc
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 2 hours later
Hi there.

Thanks for the query.

You have provided with good information and I appreciate it. In order to guide you appropriately, I will need a few more details regarding your problem, so please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible.

Was there any fresh bleeding at the sites where the dog's teeth made contact on your skin ?

Was the dog in a bad mood and seemed violent or was salivating heavily ?

Have you developed any fever, weakness ?

It is highly recommended to get the wounds looked at as you may need Anti-rabies vaccines as soon as possible as since dig is not upto date with it's shots, there could be risk of infection, especially if the wounds are bleeding.

Other than Rabies, other infections can spread from Dog's mouth which include many bacterial infections. You may apply mild antibiotic ointment at the site.

Keep a watch on the dog for 10 days from the day of the incident. If the dog gets sick or disappears then you should take the entire course of Rabies vaccine. If the dog is healthy then you can stop taking the vaccine shots.

Kindly do consult your Doctor and get the wounds examined and also take your shots as necessary.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got grazed by dog without up to date vaccinations. Do I need to go to the doctor? 17 hours later
There was no broken skin or obvious cut on my hand. I didn't touch any blood on him, just saliva, but washed my hands afterwards. I don't know the owner of the dog.
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 3 minutes later
Hi there.

If there was no cut on skin or blood, there is less chance of contracting Rabies.

Next time in case you are exposed to dog saliva, remember to wash the wound with soap and water as this kills Rabies virus if present.

You may apply antibiotic ointment if there are any visible abrasions, to prevent other bacterial infections due to contamination by dog saliva.

I hope I have answered your query.

If all your queries have been addressed, kindly close this discussion.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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