Rabies Paranoia for my Dog?

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Rabies Paranoia for my Dog?

This is a discussion on Rabies Paranoia for my Dog? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum so nice to meet all of you. I wanted to get everyone's opinion. So I have a 6 ...

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Old 01-04-2018, 12:42 PM
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Smile Rabies Paranoia for my Dog?

Hello everyone!

I'm new to this forum so nice to meet all of you. I wanted to get everyone's opinion. So I have a 6 year old Akita. She loves to stay outdoors in the backyard as well as sleep outside at night. We have a doggy door for her so she can come in and out anytime. I've been wondering if this is okay for her because of the risk of coming in contact with rabid animals? I've been paranoid the past few weeks about rabies because I would read stories about it and ever since then I would get nervous when my dog would stay outside or sleep outside at night. Do any of you guys let your dogs stay outside? I haven't had a problem the past 6 years but it just got me thinking. She is up to date on her vaccines. I live in the city. I was just wondering what you guys think about this. Maybe it's just an irrational fear?
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:59 PM
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I say very low risk.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:12 PM
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I wouldnt let my dogs outside if i wasnt around or sleeping, you never know what they could get into or what could go into your yard.

As for as the risk factor that all depends on whats around your area, you can always call animal control and see how the reports are for the area.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:34 PM
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Lightbulb No dogs outside solo overnight - not mine, & i recommend indoors to my clients, too.


@ervindeguzman21 -
what city / state or country? -- rabies risk varies around the world, as well as by region.

I agree with the poster above, i would not leave my dog outside when i'm not home, nor when i'm asleep.
I don't give an aerial sexual assault on a radially-accelerated toroidal pastry if s/he "wants to be outside" or not -
some dog-hating jerk comes by & tosses antifreeze-doped meat over my fence, & next thing i know, my dog's dying.
My dog doesn't understand risk; i'm not willing to let them be exposed to hazards or get into trouble while i'm zonked.

If the neighbor's cat comes into my yard, there's every chance my Akita will kill 'em - & then i have an angry neighbor, & a corpse.
if it's a rat or raccoon, or a bat that's grounded, that's a direct potential exposure to rabies - so is the CAT. Even owned cats are often not rabies-vaxed regularly, with 3-yr vax on schedule after the initial annual as a 4 to 6-MO kitten. I don't know why; the same owner who reliably gets their DOG, who lives in the house & goes out on leash, updated on rabies, will skip it on their free-roaming, indoor / outdoor, wildlife-killing, frequent-fighter cat. Ya gotta love the absolute illogic of humans, it's an amazing thing.

I override the dog-vote when it's for a dangerous thing. I listen to my pets about anything not dangerous - but i go deaf when it's something that can get them hurt, make them sick, cause serious behavioral fallout, or make bad feeling in my community.
[Like barking all night at noises-off... not cool. ]

Dogs who have a JOB outdoors are different - LGDs, perimeter-patrol, etc. Pets? - nah.

- terry

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Old 01-04-2018, 05:47 PM
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I'm pretty protective of our dog, so I too would never leave her outside unsupervised. Having said that, I believe that your dogs risk of contracting rabies is minimal as long as she is current on her rabies vaccine. Coming in contact with a rabid, or any wild animal presents the very real risk of serious injury and infection from bite wounds.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:18 PM
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I wouldn't leave a pet outside, especially in the cold my area is having it's cruel and dangerous temperatures and exposes to predators, injuries, illness and infection, not to mention dangerous unstable people and getting stolen.
As far as not vaccinating many people are concerned about overvaccinating, more allergic reactions and injection site cancers. Such people can opt for titers to test immunity instead. I understand rabies is mandatory but for an animal with a history of a life threatening allergic reaction vaccinations every year or three can be an excessive risk if a titer shows adequate immunity for longer.
My ancient horse has Cushing's and chronic Lyme both of which mess up the immune system and can cause sensitivities and extreme allergic reactions to many things. She's allergic to some vaccines not rabies yet. She's been kept inside for months due to her delicate health. When out she's closely monitored and near lots of other horses. Her very closely bonded string and very late gelded protected son who's always with her I am confident would crush and kill any predator that approached her. She's now healthy enough and has gone after dogs enough that she could probably protect herself as well.
My cat has allergies to many environmental allergens and many foods. I'm giving him immunotheraoy injections which are helping but he still has large areas of his coat that are raw and bloody despite the treatment. He is a strictly indoor only apartment cat in a city. He also now has allergy induced asthma and sometimes has trouble breathing with wheezing and coughing after his allergy injections so I've had to slow down the treatments. I can't catch him twice a day to give him asthma pills so I only have them as needed. His rabies expired they'd only give him a one year shot. I told the regular vet and his dermatologist that I'm afraid to stress his immune system anymore right now while he's having so many active allergic reactions. He never goes anywhere except vet appointments and my other cat and dog have all their vaccines. Why risk his life further? He has huge active sores from scratching and the immunotherapy shots are very slow.
I never let my cats outside at all. My horses and dogs always get rabies shots but I'd never leave my dog's outside overnight either. I do think horses should be allowed to get three year rabies vaccines instead of one years, especially old horses with immune system issues.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:22 PM
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Arrow pre-exposure vaccine, vs post-exposure SERIES


the other consideration - & it's a serious one - is that post-exposure, there should be a series of rabies antiviral injections, to ensure that it doesn't develop, despite the PRE-exposure vaccine.

It's very unlikely, given the thick coat on an Akita, that U'd notice a small puncture; it's now SOP to give rabies post-exposure to anyone who's been asleep in a room with a bat, even if the bat has zero symptoms, as bats can be asymptomatic carriers -
but primarily b/c bats are tiny, with tiny, very sharp teeth, & no one can assure U they would SEE a bite made by a bat, as it would close & begin to heal very, very quickly, indeed - it's tiny. // But the virus would already have been introduced, in the saliva - & is undetectable by any modern means, as yet.

A 48-YO man in India recently succumbed to rabies in hospital - he'd been bitten when he was 23-YO by a dog.
So far as i know, he's the current record-setter for delayed symptomatic rabies in the entire world.

- terry

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Old 01-04-2018, 07:06 PM
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Rabies is relatively rare in the United States because we do a good job of vaccinating. That said there are positive pet cases every year. The rabies vaccine is very good and the risk of a pet getting rabies with a current vaccine is very low. If your pet was found in the vicinity of/ or has contact with a rabid, suspected rabid or otherwise wild animal they would get a single booster rabies vaccine as long as they are up to date on rabies. If they are not up to date on a rabies vaccine (in these cases titers don't count) I think its 45 days but it may be as much as 6 months. Depending on state quarantine can be at the owners house or at a boarding facility. States have rabies protocol listed on the department of health website.

If you come in contact with a rabid animal or wildlife or suspected/potentially rabid animal. They recommend post exposure and testing the animal if available (send its brain to the state lab). Post exposure is a series of 5 vaccines, the first one given around the area of the bite wound, the others given in the arm. If you have been previous vaccinated (even if you have a good/high titer) you will get 3 booster vaccines. The rabies vaccine is usually only available at an emergency room. Last a knew (about 8 years ago) the cost of a single visit and vaccine was 1000$.

Coincidentally having seen rabid animals, it is the most depressing and painful death I have seen an animal suffer from. There was one horse who was so driven to bite that it would bit its own leg, then jerk its head with its leg still in its mouth, which resulted in it flipping itself over. It did this for about 5 hours before we could get permission to euthanize it. The horse broke its own leg about 3 hours into that 5 hour thing. I would not wish that death on anyone.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:41 PM
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Unhappy A bitter end, yes.


Many herbivores get so-called "dumb rabies" in that they don't attack moving objects [wheels on vehicles, etc], run amok attacking everything & everyone, & so on.
I agree - rabies is a terrible death.

A vet in Calif died of rabies after examining a pony with swallowing problems - during the exam, her finger was nicked by a tooth; she was gloved, but only with laetrile single-use gloves.

the 501-c3 non-profit i volunteered with for 6-plus years, Wildlife Response Inc, had a very good policy for all rabies-vector species: Everyone who handled or even transported them got pre-exposure vaccination, & a follow-up titre.
Lisa Barlow, a veterinary nurse, was the person sent to pick up a young fox who'd been in & out of the yard of a family in Va Beach for weeks - he looked fine, acted normal, no neuro symps whatever, in excellent coat & condition.
Nonetheless, she had a feeling about him, took him to her employer's practice, had him euthed, & sent off his head. // Sure enuf, he was positive - the entire family, plus their 2 dogs, who'd played with the fox, & 3 free-roaming [IN DEFIANCE OF THE CITY ORDINANCE] cats, all got shots.

- terry

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