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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hubby and I stopped this evening and picked up three stray dogs. One of them was very scared and bit hubby on the hand (broke the skin slightly).

What are the chances the dog has rabies? Hubby is freaking out. The dogs are in the kennel now and we'll take them to the vet in the morning. Hubby wants the dog that bit to be quarantined.
 

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Here's some info from CDC:
What happens if a neighborhood dog or cat bites me?

You should seek medical evaluation for any animal bite. However, rabies is uncommon in dogs, cats, and ferrets in the United States. Very few bites by these animals carry a risk of rabies. If the cat (or dog or ferret) appeared healthy at the time you were bitten, it can be confined by its owner for 10 days and observed. No anti-rabies prophylaxis is needed. No person in the United States has ever contracted rabies from a dog, cat or ferret held in quarantine for 10 days.

If a dog, cat, or ferret appeared ill at the time it bit you or becomes ill during the 10 day quarantine, it should be evaluated by a veterinarian for signs of rabies and you should seek medical advice about the need for anti-rabies prophylaxis.

The quarantine period is a precaution against the remote possibility that an animal may appear healthy, but actually be sick with rabies. To understand this statement, you have to understand a few things about the pathogenesis of rabies (the way the rabies virus affects the animal it infects). From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that rabies virus inoculated into a muscle travels from the site of the inoculation to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time, which is called the incubation period and which may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus is not in saliva. Only late in the disease, after the virus has reached the brain and multiplied there to cause an encephalitis (or inflammation of the brain), does the virus move from the brain to the salivary glands and saliva. Also at this time, after the virus has multiplied in the brain, almost all animals begin to show the first signs of rabies. Most of these signs are obvious to even an untrained observer, but within a short period of time, usually within 3 to 5 days, the virus has caused enough damage to the brain that the animal begins to show unmistakable signs of rabies. As an added precaution, the quarantine period is lengthened to 10 days.

For more information on recommendations about biting incidences, quarantine, and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), see: Compendium of Animal Rabies Control, 2000 and Rabies Prevention - United States, 1999 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP).

For more infromation on dog bites, please see the bibliography maintained by th National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/qanda/general.html#p3
 

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Chances are pretty slim. I know I wouldn't worry about it. I'm not the worrying type though. You already know why the dog bit him, it was scared. If he is concerned , they can quarantine the dog for 10 days to observe it.
 

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Thanks for sharing that Woodsman. I have wondered about the ten day period when the incubation time can be several months.
I was bitten by a stray kitten once. I knew the chances were remote just because of her age but rabies isn't something to mess around with. Plus, it was when we were in a rabies outbreak which we go through periodically here. Anyways, I knew the quarrantine thing so I brought her home with me. I think she is out on the couch, sleeping. One way to get adopted.
A word of caution, the Public Health personnel here tend to get a little freaky about strays biting. I would be cautious, if you want to keep this dog, about who I told about this. The vet will have a good idea about how your local area is about this stuff.
 

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My opinion...better safe than sorry. The dog is kenneled and it will be easy to quarantine for ten days. You should demand that this happens.

As for why the ten day quarantine. The incubation period for rabies varies, depending on where the virus entered the body. It could be days and it could be months before symptoms appear. During this time the animal is free of symptoms. During the vast majority of this incubation period..where no symptoms are evident...the animal cannot pass the disease to other animals.

At the very end of the disease process the animal demonstates symptoms of the disease and is capable of passing the disease on to other animals. As most know, one of the classic symptoms is aggression. Once symptoms of the disease are evident, the animal will go down hill quickly and die. This disease process will kill the animal in less than ten days once symptoms appear. So, if an animal bites someone, quarantining the animal will allow observation to see if symptoms (biting) progress and result in death within that ten day period. Animals that are aggressive because of rabies will die very quickly as they are in the end stages of the disease...hence the reason the quarnatine is only ten days.

Chances are, the dog is rabies free and there is no need to worry. However, placing the dog in that ten day quarantine will provide peace of mind. In this case, quarantine is just keeping the dog for ten days in the kennel. The likelyhood that it is rabies is remarkabley slim but rabies is not a disease to take lightly and the quarantine is simple. I would recommend the quarantine and understand that the end result is very likely going to be no rabies. Common sense says it is better to be safe than sorry.

Willow101
 

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I agree, better safe than sorry. Get the rabies shots, regardless. I had them when I was pregnant with my son. I got bit by a cat. No bad side effects for either of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We plan to take the dogs to the vet's so they can be adopted, or their owner can find them if they're lost. We can't keep them as we already have 16 and they are NOT happy with these three adult dogs we brought home.

Hubby is going to discuss the rabies possibility with the vet, who will probably keep the male (the one who bit hubby) for 10 days observation.

We suspect one of the dogs is the mother dog of the two puppies I found last week. The dogs are all beagles although two of them look like beagle/basset hound mixes.
 

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Considering all the contact you guys have with dogs of questionable origin, I would think the shots might not be a bad idea anyway. They are a pain in the patooty (we had to have them done at the ER) but other than the annoyance of going in 5 times, it wasn't that painful for the one who got them. Different people have different reactions, but they are no where near as awful as they used to be. The injections were in his thighs I believe.
 

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There is no reason to get the shots if the dog is quarantined for the ten days. If the dog doesn't die within that time....then the dog doesn't have rabies. The shots are expensive. I agree that one should get the shots if the animal is not available for testing or quarantine. But this dog is...so no need for the shots.

Obviously, this is my opinion and you should follow the advice of your doctor.

Willow101
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took the dogs to the vet this morning and talked to him about the bite. He said it was EXTREMELY unlikely hubby would get rabies from this dog. There has not been a case of canine to human rabies in Mississippi since the 1930s. However, he is holding the dog for 10 days...just in case.

He believes these dogs are lost and we're hoping to locate the original owner.
 

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Hugs to your vet :). There is a human vaccination for rabies according to one of my vets. She has to get a titer test done every so often and if indicated she gets the vaccination. I think she said it ran about $175.00. It is completely different than the post exposure series of shots given.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, we have a great vet! I called this afternoon and they already have someone interested in taking the dogs. However, they're holding them for the 10 days, not just because one bit hubby, but to also give us time to find the owner if possible.
 

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he needs to get the shots a guy here in MO didn't after being bit by a bat and he died...nothing to mess with!
 

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perhaps it's not common in dogs and cats, but it does happen. i remember reading somewhere, perhaps a local newspaper, abou a little girl who had to get shots when they found out that the stray kitten that bit her had rabies. you just can't take chances with rabies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hubby doesn't need shots. The dog is being kept under observation and shows no signs or rabies or any other illness, but thanks for all the concern!
 
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