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Is repetition of anti-rabies vaccination required for a dog scratch after 1 year?

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Posted on Wed, 18 May 2016
Question: Hi I had taken anti rabis vaccine 2 times in 4 years last time I tool 1 year back (2 doses), recently (3 weeks back) one street dog catched my jeans, but I am sure no bite was there but I am scared and consulted a general surgeon he said no need of any vaccine if blood did not came. Can you please suggest should I go for vaccine or since I have 2 times vaccine no need of again.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali (41 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No need for vaccination if there is no wound or licking

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX Hi & Welcome.
Thanks for posting your query on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
If you are pretty sure of not getting any wound like scratch or abrasion or if the dog's saliva did not contact your skin then there is no need to take the vaccine.
However,
1. If you had abrasion or any other type of wound you should take two booster doses of anti rabies vaccine on day 0 and 3.
2. If you were licked by the street dog, as per the WHO categories it is categorized into Category-II (minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding or licks on broken skin) to which thorough wound washing along with two booster doses of anti rabies vaccine should be taken as mentioned above.
Hope I could answer your query.
However if you have any follow up query, please do not hesitate to ask.
Best wishes.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali (1 hour later)
Hi,

Thanks doctor for the answer, but is it ok now if I have 2 doses since its been 3 weeks. Or is there any test which can be done to identify whether actually infected or not, please suggest.

Regards, XXXXXXX XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
There is no need of vaccine if the biting animal is healthy.

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX Hi & Welcome back.
Thanks for your reply.
1. The anti rabies vaccine should be taken immediately following a dog bite.
If the biting stray dog is healthy is easily identified and regularly observed and remained healthy even after 10 days, then there is no need to take the vaccine.
Because if at all the stray dog had rabies at the time of biting then the infected animal usually dies within 7 days after biting.
2. Since the incubation period (the time between exposure to the virus and the appearance of symptoms of rabies) is typically 1–3 months. So, if you are not sure about the nature of the wound, it is better to take two booster doses as suggested earlier.
3. There is no single or simple lab test to confirm the infection. Several tests are necessary to diagnose rabies in humans. Tests are performed on samples of saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies of hair follicles at the nape of the neck. Saliva can be tested by virus isolation or reverse transcription followed by polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum and spinal fluid are tested for antibodies to rabies virus. These tests are usually done in higher centers.
Hope this answers your query.
Best wishes.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Naveen Kumar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali (2 days later)
hi doctor,

i got very much relieved after your answer, but from today morning on my both legs, body , palm and both hand's kind of itching started its like on and off is it any where related to symptoms of the infection. I googled in internet but this symptom is not there but thought of getting clarified from you. Please guide me if i have to do any consultation.

Regards, XXXXXXX XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
It could be due to some allergy.

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX Hi & Welcome back.
Thanks for your reply. Noted the contents.
You seem to have developed some allergic reaction possibly due to insect bite, or exposure to dust or pollens, or it may be just simply a dry skin.
If the symptoms persist you may take oral antihistamine like Levocetrizine once daily in the evening. Keep yourself hydrated.
Hope this will help you.
If you do not have any follow up query, kindly rate the answers and close the discussion.
Wishing you best of your health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Naveen Kumar
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Answered by
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Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 6133 Questions

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Is repetition of anti-rabies vaccination required for a dog scratch after 1 year?

Brief Answer: No need for vaccination if there is no wound or licking Detailed Answer: Dear XXXXXXX Hi & Welcome. Thanks for posting your query on Health Care Magic. I can understand your concern. If you are pretty sure of not getting any wound like scratch or abrasion or if the dog's saliva did not contact your skin then there is no need to take the vaccine. However, 1. If you had abrasion or any other type of wound you should take two booster doses of anti rabies vaccine on day 0 and 3. 2. If you were licked by the street dog, as per the WHO categories it is categorized into Category-II (minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding or licks on broken skin) to which thorough wound washing along with two booster doses of anti rabies vaccine should be taken as mentioned above. Hope I could answer your query. However if you have any follow up query, please do not hesitate to ask. Best wishes.