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Is rabies vaccination required after being scratched by a dog?

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: Hello sir. I got scratched by a dog on April 11th. It was a minor one and I dint see any bleeding. I din't take pep. I observed the dog for 10 days. It was completely fine. However the dog developed symptoms of rabies after 24 days and then died after 28 days. I started pep from May 10 th n have completed 5 doses. M I at any risk?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen G (49 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Chance will be very less

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Welcome to HCM

Are you sure dog died of rabies? If there is any suspicion, rabies in dog should be diagnosed by identifying the negri bodies in the brain of the dead dog.

Whether it was done , dog may have died of other reasons. Usually the rabies in dog will manifest in 10 days. Therefore i do not suspect the dog to be rabid.

The vaccine has helped you in inducing protective antibody titres against rabies virus.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Praveen G (9 hours later)
The dog had chills, ran around aimlessly on hearing loud sound, lethargic, cachectic, stayed in a corner. All these lasted for 3 to 4 days. Thus we thought he died of rabies. During the 10 days period time he was completely fine. Can dogs transmit rabies virus in its saliva during incubation period before appearance of any clinical signs ? The wound I had was a minor one with no bleeding at all. Have u seen or heard of any cases of rabies transmitted by superficial scratch?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen G (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Scratch without bleeding chances will be near 0%

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Welcome Back,

As you had scratch without bleeding it suggests that there was no breach in the skin and there is no contact of saliva of dog with the blood.

If there is no contact between blood and the saliva the chance of getting rabies will be mere 0%.

Before appearance of any clinical signs dogs will not transmit rabies virus. In your case nothing to worry about this and dog was healthy for 10 days. Dog might have developed the disease after your episode of scratch.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Veerisetty Shyamkumar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Praveen G (12 hours later)
If suppose der was a break in the superficial layers of the skin with no bleeding then can that wound transmit rabies? I am scared coz I dint see bleeding but what if my skin got breached? Does everyone who have been exposed to a rabies dogs saliva develop the disease? I read somewhere that rabies dogs can Sun-Times shed virus in its saliva before clinical signs. Is it true? And how long does antibodies last after a full 5 dose course of anti rabies vaccine? Starting Anti rabies vaccine after a month would that be helpful?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen G (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Antibodies can sustained for at least 3 years

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Welcome to HCM,

If there is a breach in the skin it will definitely bleeds, as there was no bleeding it suggest that there was there breach.

If there is break in the skin there may be chance of virus entering the blood stream and may produce the disease.

No, there should be adequate viral load in the saliva to produce the disease.

Dog can transmit the rabies if it has symptoms of virus and the virus in the saliva.

Antibodies can sustained for at least 3 years.

Starting anti rabies vaccine after a month of exposure will help to protect you for future episodes not for the present one.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Priyanka G Raj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Praveen G (22 minutes later)
Wat's the incubation period for rabies in human ? Since d dog showed symptoms after 24 days can I b certain that it's saliva din't have virus in its saliva? Have you seen any case of rabies in human transmitted by superficial minor scratch? N compared to dog bites wat r d chances of scratches transmitting rabies?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen G (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Incubation period ranges from 2 weeks to 6 months

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Incubation period of rabies in human beings ranges from 2 weeks to 6 months but in animals it is usually 10 days.

As the dog has died 24 days after the episode the chance of transmitting the rabies is very negligible.

As i have explained in my previous query the chance of virus entering the intact skin is not possible, so through minor scratch it is very very less.

As you are so scared you can undergo rabies virus neutralizing antibody titres (RvNab), which will help you to know your protective titres. This test can be done in good microbiology labs.
Thank you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Veerisetty Shyamkumar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Praveen G

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2448 Questions

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Is rabies vaccination required after being scratched by a dog?

Brief Answer: Chance will be very less Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to HCM Are you sure dog died of rabies? If there is any suspicion, rabies in dog should be diagnosed by identifying the negri bodies in the brain of the dead dog. Whether it was done , dog may have died of other reasons. Usually the rabies in dog will manifest in 10 days. Therefore i do not suspect the dog to be rabid. The vaccine has helped you in inducing protective antibody titres against rabies virus. Thank you.