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Thread: Strategies that have helped with rabies fear?

  1. #1

    Strategies that have helped with rabies fear?

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been visiting the HA forum for a while now, and have found some real comfort and reassurance here, but this one is a doozy.

    A couple of weeks ago, our dog was in a fight with a raccoon in our backyard. The dog heard the raccoon in our hedge and went after it. Our dog suffered a gash to it's hind leg and got stitches and is recovering well. The dog's shots were all up-to-date. Raccoons are a regular feature in our area. I didn't give it a thought, other than being relieved our dog was ok.

    A few days after the raccoon incident, I was giving our dog some treats, and it was licking my hand, and I realized I had a small cut on my hand, and I immediately thought: RABIES!!! I frantically washed the cut with soap and water. I started worrying.

    Luckily, we had a vet visit a few days later. I explained everything to the vet, and vet said, never let a dog lick a wound, but only because of germs, and she wasn't at all worried about rabies. That made me feel better.

    UNTIL. News broke a few days ago that a young man who lives on an island nearby just died of rabies after a bat flew into his hand. Somehow, that has sent me into an absolute tailspin. I've become irrationally nervous about our dog - the slightest growl and I'm panicked. My mind is full of what if, what if, what if.

    Here are some things I've found in my research:

    - according to disease control, in our region, raccoons do not have rabies, only bats do.
    - our dog's shots are up to date
    - the health authority in our region oversees administration of rabies vaccine and it's highly unlikely I would get it even if I begged for it. (A woman went to the papers after being bit by a raccoon because she was denied the vaccine as it was determined not a risk.)

    I know these "facts" and repeat them to myself, however, the what ifs find a way in - what if that raccoon was the first to have rabies? What if our dog is incubating rabies somehow despite the shots and it doesn't show up for months?

    Last night I went to pottery class and finally managed to throw my first cylinder on the wheel. The time I spent doing that was a reprieve from my panicked thoughts. But as soon as I was alone in my car again driving home, the rabies worry was back.

    I'm wondering if anyone has strategies for coping when alone - any tricks for thinking or battling thoughts that have worked for you? I feel terrible for our dog, who I think senses that I'm afraid of him. I know it's not normal to think this way. I just want to break out of it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    117

    Re: Strategies that have helped with rabies fear?

    Quote Originally Posted by embroiderymaven View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I've been visiting the HA forum for a while now, and have found some real comfort and reassurance here, but this one is a doozy.

    A couple of weeks ago, our dog was in a fight with a raccoon in our backyard. The dog heard the raccoon in our hedge and went after it. Our dog suffered a gash to it's hind leg and got stitches and is recovering well. The dog's shots were all up-to-date. Raccoons are a regular feature in our area. I didn't give it a thought, other than being relieved our dog was ok.

    A few days after the raccoon incident, I was giving our dog some treats, and it was licking my hand, and I realized I had a small cut on my hand, and I immediately thought: RABIES!!! I frantically washed the cut with soap and water. I started worrying.

    Luckily, we had a vet visit a few days later. I explained everything to the vet, and vet said, never let a dog lick a wound, but only because of germs, and she wasn't at all worried about rabies. That made me feel better.

    UNTIL. News broke a few days ago that a young man who lives on an island nearby just died of rabies after a bat flew into his hand. Somehow, that has sent me into an absolute tailspin. I've become irrationally nervous about our dog - the slightest growl and I'm panicked. My mind is full of what if, what if, what if.

    Here are some things I've found in my research:

    - according to disease control, in our region, raccoons do not have rabies, only bats do.
    - our dog's shots are up to date
    - the health authority in our region oversees administration of rabies vaccine and it's highly unlikely I would get it even if I begged for it. (A woman went to the papers after being bit by a raccoon because she was denied the vaccine as it was determined not a risk.)

    I know these "facts" and repeat them to myself, however, the what ifs find a way in - what if that raccoon was the first to have rabies? What if our dog is incubating rabies somehow despite the shots and it doesn't show up for months?

    Last night I went to pottery class and finally managed to throw my first cylinder on the wheel. The time I spent doing that was a reprieve from my panicked thoughts. But as soon as I was alone in my car again driving home, the rabies worry was back.

    I'm wondering if anyone has strategies for coping when alone - any tricks for thinking or battling thoughts that have worked for you? I feel terrible for our dog, who I think senses that I'm afraid of him. I know it's not normal to think this way. I just want to break out of it.
    Well, this whole rabies fear is somewhat new to me. I initially had the fear in December 2018, and during that time my friends dog licked a wound of mine. This gave me anxiety over the situation but I just decided to not research rabies, its symptoms and all those scary things. Instead, I just distracted myself and after the first 2 days I got over it. Fast forward to present time, and the fear has returned due to a stupid reason.
    A little Maltese puppy had gone through my gate and gotten into my front yard. It was running around and having a good time, and so I guess it was normal and healthy. After seeing it I carried it and took it back to its owner, however, I felt a bit of saliva on one of my arms. I donít know which one it was, but I currently have a wound atm that is practically healed, though I feel like saliva couldíve gotten through it if it was even the spot it licked. Either way, I washed up immediately and made sure the saliva wasnít on me. Now, I panicked a decent amount but Iím slowly getting over it.
    Iím watching shows and playing games, talking to people, and generally having a decent time. Sure rabies is scary but if you let yourself do the things you generally enjoy, youíll get over it. In your situation, your dog is healthy which means it doesnít have rabies. If it does get rabies in the near future, which I highly doubt it will, you wonít get infected because it licked you when it didnít have rabies. For rabies to be contagious (spreadable), the animal affected must have the symptoms of the virus, because thatís when the virus spreads to the brain. If your dog acted normal and your vet attested to that, then youíre perfectly fine. Donít even think about it, in my situation it kind of sucks because I donít know the dog or its owner so I canít make sure everything was alright with the dog, but I believe Iím 100% fine either way. Hopefully you can realize the same, gl and occupy yourself.

  3. #3

    Re: Strategies that have helped with rabies fear?

    Thank you, HelloPanda.

    First, Iím sorry you had another episode that caused you concern. Itís great hear how youíre handling it, and I feel encouraged to try a similar strategy.

    Thank you for a kind and thoughtful response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    19,887

    Re: Strategies that have helped with rabies fear?

    The best strategy of tackling rabies fears is recognizing the total irrationality of it

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

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