Rabies exposure possibility?

Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
34
Likes
0
Points
0
#1
My dog found a torn apart cat on our walk in the woods today. It must have just happened, as we had passed that spot an hour before on our walk down, and the poor cat wasn't there.

Obviously I got him away as soon as possible, but not before I noticed the cat's leg was wet with saliva (assuming from the predator that took the leg off). I'm guessing coyote or fox due to the farmland around, but who knows.

I've read rabies can pass through saliva into the mucous membranes on the nose. Karl was vaccinated for rabies 10 months ago with a 3-Year Vax, but here in Canada anyway, if a vaccinated animal has been exposed to rabies, they need to be revaccinated for it.

My question is two fold:

1) if this scenario happened to you, would you find it vet worthy? Should I be taking him in for a booster?

2) for anyone who might work at a clinic...why the revaccination, if the dog was already vaccinated in the first place?

Thanks!
 

Kat09Tails

*Now with Snark*
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
3,452
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Upper Left hand corner, USA
#2
Was the cat still alive? Twitching? Stiff? Did your dog try to eat the cat or was it just sniffing?

For all it's deadliness to the infected rabies is a pretty fragile virus when it comes to temperatures. It doesn't survive well outside of the body. That said there is a slight risk of exposure.

http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2012/07/articles/animals/dogs/rabies-virus-survival/

That said - if my dog touched the cat which was fresh killed. I probably would go for a booster. It's a $5 shot and peace of mind. If the cat was cold/stiff and dead as a stump I would probably not.

There is no right or wrong in this - do what you feel comfortable with.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
34
Likes
0
Points
0
#3
Hey Kat! Thanks for the reply. It was just the cat's leg and intestine left :( I'm assuming in happened within the hour or so we were gone.

He just sniffed it.

I guess it's the booster notion that is tripping me up. What's the point of vaccinations if you need a booster right after exposure (that's not necessarily directed at kay09! I actually don't understand the logic. If I got a hep vaccine and then was potentially exposed to hep on vacation .... I wouldn't come back home and get another vaccine. Right?).

Would love it if someone in the vet field knew and could explain...
 

pinkspore

Bat Ears Only
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
976
Likes
1
Points
18
Location
Central California
#4
I think it's because vaccines don't give 100% immunity to every dog, so you revaccinate just in case your dog is in that .001%. Also because prophylactic rabies vaccination is effective.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
6,405
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Minnesota
#5
As well as trying to cover that "nothing is 100% effective" gap, re-vaccination can boost the immune response in a vaccinated animal. It's rabies, anything that reduces the risk of transmission even an infinitesimal amount is generally worth it if the risk isn't great.

From the exposure you described, the risk is pretty low. But it's rabies, you know? I would probably boost.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
4,381
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Midwest
#6
incubation of rabies in dogs lasts a while before it becomes the "disease" we fear. It also is not transferrable during this time so there's a pretty good window to be vaccinated and have your dog develop an immune response ( about a month) before showing symptoms. It's just a cover your ass thing. No vaccine is 100%, but once you're on a 3 year, your dog has had multiple exposures to vaccine and has either had that response or it probably isn't going to. I don't have specific numbers but after 2-3 rounds the numbers exhibiting antibody levels that are considered "protective" are found in about 97% of dogs. That percentage doesn't move much despite follow up vaccination which is why I say if it hasn't happened by now, it probably isn't going to. But policy makers are more concerned with policy than your individual pet.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
3
Likes
0
Points
0
#7
Rabies is an infectious disease which affects the central nervous system in mammals. It’s transmitted through the saliva a few days before death when the animal “sheds†the virus. The main sign is the “dumb†form, usually wild animals might appear domesticated and seem to have no fear of humans. However, when you feel that your is contracting with rabbies then start vaccinate your pets.
 
Top