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Had a dog bite. Will the lab test show if the dog has rabies?

My 13 year old dog attempted to bite me... Luckily only scratched my skin with his teeth . I don t think he has rabies but is not up to date with rabies shots. Is there anyway to test myself to see if I have it? And my dog.. I see the research states animal s brain would be needed to test for rabies would lab work show it?
Asked On : Wed, 6 Mar 2013
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Unfortunately there is no lab test which can reliably detect rabies. The only confirmatory test is a brain autopsy. In cases where there a person is exposed to a possible risk, the only way forward is preventive vaccination.

I would suggest that you see a doctor for an assessment of your risk of exposure (there are specific protocols an guidelines for this), so that a decision can be made whether you need to be vaccinated or not. Observation of the animal for a period of atleast 2 weeks, for any signs of rabies or death may be one way to ensure that the animal is not infected.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist
Answered: Wed, 6 Mar 2013
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