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Is rabies vaccination required after being bitten by a dog?

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Posted on Mon, 30 May 2016
Question: My neighbour's dog bit me 45 mins ago in the left leg over my trousers. The trouser is not torn. The skin was not red at the time of biting- nor did it appear torn. But there were two impressions left by teeth . Soon after, the area under the skin turned reddish blue- and the mark spead and is 1 cm long. Seemed like internal bleeding happened.

This same dog bit me in XXXXXXX 2014 on the left shoulder. and I did not take a vaccine.
Given the dog is vaccinated and it bit over the trousers which have not torn- do I still take the Rabies vaccine? What about Tetanus ? I have heard Tetanus vaccine lowers immunity for a few weeks when given .
XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (22 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Rabies is a lethal disease

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. The issue is that mammals can contract a disease called rabies which is very lethal. Dogs being mammals, are therefore susceptible as are humans. But although not all dogs are rabid, you never can be sure that the dog is not rabid while giving you a bite. If the dog is already immunized for rabies and tetanus, you need not worry. But otherwise you would have to decide if you want to take the risk.

If the dog is rabid, it would soon show abnormal behavior and is not likely to live beyond 10 days.

Please note that a single shot of tetanus toxoid would not be enough to impart immunity to protect you from an infection of tetanus, if contamination really occurs. It can just boost your immunity provided you are properly immunized. Unless that is the case, tetglob (tetanus immunoglobulin) needs to be taken.

Tetanus vaccine does not lower immunity for a few weeks.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Diptanshu Das

Pediatrician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3867 Questions

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Is rabies vaccination required after being bitten by a dog?

Brief Answer: Rabies is a lethal disease Detailed Answer: Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic. I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. The issue is that mammals can contract a disease called rabies which is very lethal. Dogs being mammals, are therefore susceptible as are humans. But although not all dogs are rabid, you never can be sure that the dog is not rabid while giving you a bite. If the dog is already immunized for rabies and tetanus, you need not worry. But otherwise you would have to decide if you want to take the risk. If the dog is rabid, it would soon show abnormal behavior and is not likely to live beyond 10 days. Please note that a single shot of tetanus toxoid would not be enough to impart immunity to protect you from an infection of tetanus, if contamination really occurs. It can just boost your immunity provided you are properly immunized. Unless that is the case, tetglob (tetanus immunoglobulin) needs to be taken. Tetanus vaccine does not lower immunity for a few weeks. Regards