Ask the Vet About Rabies in Dogs and Cats
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.Submit Your Question
Question:My 2+ year old outdoor cat is due for his yearly Rabies vaccine, our vet cannot see him for 3 weeks. Will he be ok going outside since he will be overdue for his booster?
Answer:Legally I am supposed to say No, he should not go outside. Immunologically though, he should be protected (especially if this will be his 3rd Rabies shot).
Question:My cat was found in my house with a rabid (was sent and tested) bat on Sept 15, 2020. He was 11 months old (roughly he is a rescue) at the time and had his first rabies shot on Jan 21, 2020 at the rescue. I am unsure if he bit the bat or the bat bit him but he was revaccinated on Sept 19, 2020. We kept him in quarantine for 45 days after the exposure. My question is how long do I worry about him developing rabies? I’ve read they can still develop it up to a year later. I have a daughter who he has playfully bitten 12/21/20 and scratched 1/12/21. Could he transmit her rabies? This is becoming so consuming and worrisome to me I don’t know if I am overreacting. The cat appears healthy and fine. If he does scratch or bite and is still alive 10 days later are we safe from rabies?
Answer:He is probably fine since he was vaccinated but since you cannot be 100% sure ever, it is best for him to stay away from your daughter if he engages in that kind of play with her. Contact your pediatrician for what you should do about the 12/21 bite and the 1/12 scratch. It can take up to a year from the time of the initial bite before symptoms begin to show. (In dogs, typical incubation periods are 21-80 days. In cats, it's 28-42 days.)
Question:Hello. I recently rescued a dog and we don't know if she's had her Rabies vaccine. She is 4 yrs old. Is there a way of knowing if she did? Would it be safe to give her one if she already had it? We don't know anything about her other than her age. Will her age run a higher risk of side effects? Thank you
Answer:If she has a microchip, the same veterinarian may have given her a Rabies vaccine so have her checked for a microchip, but that would be the only way of knowing. All vaccines can have potential side effects, so it is not ideal to double-vaccinate BUT the risk of exposure to her (and your family) is too risky, so yes, we end up vaccinating these dogs.
Question:My little yorkie got her rabies today. I'm a little worried about her. She has been throwing up and has some diarrhea as well. I know in the past she has definitely thrown up after shots. She sounds like she is breathing a little heavier than usual and kind of wheezy. She was running around and acting normal earlier. Now she just wants to lay around and is acting strange. I have her in bed with me now and keeping an eye on her. She is also shaking as well. Is this all normal?
Answer:No - that is not normal. Have the veterinarian that gave the vaccine recheck her - if they are closed, going to the emergency clinic is ideal.
Question:What if a 1month old puppy without vaccination accidentally bites you while feeding them, it's like a scratch but the puppy was not showing signs that it has rabies and the puppy was not an stray dog, and the wound that happens was not deep, it bleeds super little just like it bleeds for just 2seconds and there was no mark that left on finger, And you wash it asap and pour some alcohol on it and it doesn't feel that it has wounds, does it has rabies?
Answer:You shouldn't need to worry in this case but contacting your physician is always ideal.
Question:How often do the dogs have to get shot for rabies
Answer:The first Rabies vaccine they get, their immune system can only recogonize for 1 year, then very close to one year later they can get a 3 year Rabies. This varies a little by state laws - some states may require it more often.
Question:My five pound Cocapoo needs a rabies vaccination. He also needs vaccinated for a regular visit. Thank you,, Augusta Collins. 812-777-9169
Answer:In most states a veterinarian must administer the Rabies vaccine, so contact a veterinarian in your area for help getting those vaccines.
Question:This is a follow up question. You said the vaccine might not be on boarded in 3 days to protect him and transmission is possible. My understanding is once transmission is possible he is in a 10 day 'quarantine' window and will be dead within 10dys so I would know he transmitted to me. The vaccine would not stop the window would it?
Answer:The vaccine would not stop the window would it?" No, a vaccine would do nothing to "stop transmission" - that's not what a vaccine does, but again, it is exceedingly rare. As far as quarantining, that is really variable by state so you'll have to ask your local veterinarian.
Question:There was a clerical error and my dog was out of date with rabies vaccine. He received the 1st shot good for a year on Thursday. He licked an open wound on my hand Sunday 3 days later. For sake of argument if he did have the rabies virus would the initial vaccine 3 days earlier prevent him from developing symptoms when he licked my wound? If so nothing to worry about. If not and he could have transmitted the virus to me the day he licked my wound could the vaccine prevent him from dying during the final 10 days and I not know he gave me the virus?
Answer:The Rabies vaccine 3 days earlier may not be fully on-board to protect him, so transmission is possible, BUT Rabies is VERY rare so this is highly unlikely.
Question:Can I give my puppy their shots and go to a vet for their rabies vaccine?
Answer:You can but it's not ideal for a lot of reasons: it's ideal for the puppy to have a physical exam with temperature taken to be sure it's 100% healthy and I always worry about how the vaccine was cared for (whether it got too hot or too cold in transport) and might not be effective.
Question:Hi my puppy ate a dead gopher face and then licked my daughters mouth can we get rabies?
Answer:That would be unlikely but contact your physician for questions about human exposure.
Question:So my dog just got his shot earlier today (Rabies Shot)and I don?t know what do give him (medicine wise) if he is sore, what do I give him and where can I buy it?
Answer:Aspirin is usually ok, BUT never any other NSAIDs - most are toxic to dogs - consult your veterinarian to be 100% sure especially if your dog has any underlying issues or is on any other medication.
Question:My 2 year old cat had his rabies vaccine yesterday and ever since then he has not eaten or drank any water. He won?t move and screams like he?s in pain. Then he had a seizure that lasted a good minute. What should I do?
Answer:He needs to be rechecked immediately. That is not normal and could be a serious adverse reaction that can be treated.
Question:Hello doctor 1 month before I was slightly hurt by street cat the wound was very tiny on my hand like teeth scratch then I took rabies vaccine on 0,3,10,28 and cat is still alive alive on 30th day cat eats and she is healthy have you seen a infected cat alive on 30th day what do you think was I infected that day?
Answer:Rabies is an elusive virus - it is not probable that you were infected but still possible. Contact your physician for further information about human infection, incubation periods in humans, etc.
Question:My son was bit by a domestic that he along with friends were dog sitting while parents are out of town 3 days ago. It was an accidental bite when they were playing. Very minor injury in index finger that healed completely - except minor pain/sensation. We are not able to get dog's vaccination information and dog is still with them, acting fine. What are our option? How do we make sure my son doesn't need vaccination?
Answer:You will need to contact your local pediatrician (and/or veterinarian) - especially about whether he needs any treatment - and the laws are very different from state to state. (Some states are so extreme that they will recommend euthanasia of the dog if it has not been vaccinated, so keep that in mind while you are asking around - it would be ideal to know if the dog has been vaccinated or not.)