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Thread: Small dog bite/Rabies fear

  1. #1

    Small dog bite/Rabies fear

    This morning while walking down the sidewalk for a house call I was doing for my job, a strangerís dog that was on a leash jumped on my leg and very lightly bit my hand. The dog appeared to be a small Pug breed. The owner quickly noticed the dog had jumped up and pulled it away and apologized. It barely got me, so I really didnít think anything of it. I looked down at my hand and didnít see any broken skin, etc. After finishing my house call, I got back in my car and glanced at my hand again. This time I did see that the skin was ever so slightly broken. I did not see any bleeding. It almost looks like a very tiny paper cut. Barely a knick. After noticing this, I decided to try and find the owner to make sure the dog was vaccinated against rabies. I went to the house that I believed it came out of (a complete guess) but no one answered. I am now concerned about the possibility of rabies. I realize the risk is very low in domestic animals, which this dog clearly was. But the fact that I have no way of confirming has me worried. I did call my doctors office and am waiting to hear back. Honestly I feel silly even calling because you basically need a microscope to see the tiny little knick in my skin. But I know rabies is no joke. Looking for advice on what I should do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Re: Small dog bite/Rabies fear

    Hey there,

    Chances that a domestic pet dog in the US is not vaccinated against rabies, are pretty much close to 0. The owners do that on a regular basis for their own protection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    , , United Kingdom.

    Re: Small dog bite/Rabies fear


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  4. #4

    Re: Small dog bite/Rabies fear

    Thanks for the reply. I did hear back from my doctor who said to consider getting the series of rabies vaccinations if I am unable to find out the health and vaccination status of the dog or if the dog isnít able to be monitored for symptoms for 10 days. I decided to go back to the neighborhood to attempt to locate the owner this evening. I was somehow lucky enough to find her, and she assured me her dog had an up to date rabies vaccine. She was unable to find proof me on the spot though- she said she had just moved in recently and her papers were all in storage boxes. We exchanged numbers and a few texts and she said she would be calling her vet for the vaccine records first thing in the morning so she could share them it with me. I am really hoping she does that, as I am just relying on her word for now. I do feel like Iím totally over reacting though. Why would someone have a sick, rabid dog in their house? They wouldnít obviously. I hate anxiety. I know myself and I will ruminate on this until I can verify the dog was vaccinated. I think what makes this situation so troubling to me is that I am obviously scared of rabies, but I would be a ball of nerves if I had to get 4 rabies shots too. I would work myself up so much about every little side effect of the vaccines. Fingers crossed this stranger gets back to me tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Re: Small dog bite/Rabies fear

    The dog almost certainly doesn’t have rabies, but policy when bitten by a dog is to make sure it is up to date on shots, and potentially do a quarantine. I was “bitten” by my own dog while playing and the doctor was forced to report it; the sheriff had to come see him and then again 10 days later, plus I had to provide shot records. Rabies is exceedingly rare, but one of the reasons it is so well controlled in the US is because we vaccinate our pets and we keep on top of incidents like this.

    It sounds like she is being really helpful, which is good. I’d be sure to follow up and get a copy of the records from her and then you can probably call it good. If you end up at your doctor, they would probably have to call animal control who would then take over collecting the shot records and imposing a quarantine, which this woman probably knows so she’ll be motivated to work with you individually.

    I know how stressful it is - I had to do the rabies PEP last summer and it’s such a terrible headspace to be in, knowing you’re probably okay but you still have to cover all of your bases. Hopefully the woman gets back to you today and you can put it all behind you.
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