Should I be freaking out worried about catching rabies from my dog? Incident w/ 3 rac

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Should I be freaking out worried about catching rabies from my dog? Incident w/ 3 rac

This is a discussion on Should I be freaking out worried about catching rabies from my dog? Incident w/ 3 rac within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; About one week ago, I let my dog outside at night and shortly thereafter spotted three raccoons in the grass. I tried to grab my ...

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Old 08-31-2017, 03:36 PM
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Should I be freaking out worried about catching rabies from my dog? Incident w/ 3 rac

About one week ago, I let my dog outside at night and shortly thereafter spotted three raccoons in the grass. I tried to grab my dog and pull her back inside, but it was too late...she spotted them and took off after them. The raccoons ran, but she persisted in running after them and chasing them underneath a deck, where I lost sight of everything that was going on. I heard some scuffling around and a high-pitched sound that I don't think was my dog whimpering. I think the raccoons made the sound, but it all happened so fast that I'm not sure. When she finally came back to me, I didn't see any signs of bites or scratches on her. However, she has a thick coat, so I feel like I can't say she wasn't injured for sure.


I adopted her from the Humane Society about two years ago (she was 9 years old at the time), so I don't know her vaccination history. I assume they would have given her a rabies shot upon intake unless her previous owners provided documentation of an up-to-date shot? Additionally, I had her vaccinated at the vet's office in May of last year, meaning her shot is about 3.5 months overdue. I haven't consulted with the vet because doing so would be a death sentence for her. By law, the vet is required to destroy any pets that have been around a wild animal if their shot is even a few days overdue unless the owner can pay the $2,000 for a quarantine facility, which I can't afford. Therefore, I don't want to take her in and get a shot for myself unless there truly is a real risk. I come across a lot of information online indicating her overdue shot should still be effective, scientifically speaking, but I also come across some info to the contrary.

Ever since it happened, I've been very wary of petting her or otherwise touching her, which I can tell makes her upset as she's a pretty needy dog. If she gets any saliva on me at all, I rush to wash the area. She also scratched me a couple of days ago, so there's a part of me just wondering if it's only a matter of time before I succumb to a terrible death.
I just want to know if I'm overreacting or if the risk is real. If it is, I'm also wondering if it's too late to do anything about it. For whatever it's worth, the Humane Society is doing a shot clinic next week, and I'm taking her in to get everything caught up to date.
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:57 PM
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Rabies vaccines generally last a minimum of 3 years.

If at some point in her life your dog was vaccinated at least 2x, and the vaccines were given 1 year apart. Then you got her and vaccinated her last year, then she should have enough antibodies in her blood to not contract rabies. If she was vaccinated by the shelter, then you got her vaccinated, likewise she should be fine. The 3 Year Rabies Vaccine | Enlighten Me
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:05 PM
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Rabies vaccines generally last a minimum of 3 years.

If at some point in her life your dog was vaccinated at least 2x, and the vaccines were given 1 year apart. Then you got her and vaccinated her last year, then she should have enough antibodies in her blood to not contract rabies. If she was vaccinated by the shelter, then you got her vaccinated, likewise she should be fine. The 3 Year Rabies Vaccine | Enlighten Me
Thank you for your response! See, I read on several websites that the 1year shot is the same as the 3 year one and therefore should still be effective in her system. However, when I posted on Reddit asking if anyone could verify that information, I got a lot of mean-spirited replies telling me that was absolutely not true and I needed to stop looking for veterinary information on the internet. I just don't know what to trust. If it weren't state law for the vet to euthanize her as soon as my vet becomes aware of the situation, I would have already consulted her professional opinion.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:31 PM
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From my understanding, the rabies vaccinations actually last a lot longer than the recommended time slot, it's just that the law plays it safe by requiring it every so often. Being overdue by three months shouldn't be a big deal.

I'd keep an eye on her for the recommended 10 days and then get her vaccinated so you're sure she's up to date.

As for you, the risk is probably minimal. If you're truly concerned you can go to the hospital and say you came into contact with a wild animal and they will give you a shot yourself - but I do think it's quite expensive and I know it's pretty painful (which is why humans don't just get rabies vaccinations on the regular).
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:20 PM
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Exclamation Post-exposure series for humans co$ts about ONE GRAND / $1,000

- per my understanding, the dog needs a booster, ASAP, in case s/he was bitten or scratched.

- post-exposure is a series of shots into hefty muscle like the buttocks; it used to be intra-abdominal, & extremely painful.
Per my wildlife-rehab buddy Lisa, each shot still hurts "worse than the bite", but the series is imperative. // I think it's down to 3 shots, on a particular schedule.

If this were my dog, i'd see my vet - tomorrow - & find out what needs to be done. // Rabies is virtually 100% fatal when symptoms develop; it can take 8 months for symptoms to show. I'd say don't waste any more time; go, ask, & if the booster is recommended, DO IT.

A young girl in S America died of rabies EIGHT YEARS after being bitten by a bat; it's among the longest latent periods recorded.

Rabies viral encephalitis with probable 25 year incubation period!
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424805/
by SK Shankar - ‎2012 - ‎Cited by 14 - ‎Related articles
Hence, we tend to believe that the tentative incubation period for rabies in this case was unusually long (nearly 25 years). To the best of our knowledge, this is probably the longest incubation period recorded.
‎Abstract · ‎Introduction · ‎Case Report


Reexamination of Human Rabies Case with Long Incubation, Australia
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/12/08-0944
Dec 12, 2008 -
If Hong Kong was where the young girl was infected, it would indicate an incubation period of 4.5–6 years. Such long incubation periods are rare for rabies virus infections.



WHO | Rabies
WHO | Rabies
Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all ... The incubation period for rabies is typically 1–3 months but may vary from 1 ...



- terry


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Old 08-31-2017, 05:23 PM
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I can't imagine that the shelter you adopted her from did not inoculate her two years ago, when you adopted her. You can call the shelter and verify that, but my guess is she got the three year shot before the shelter let you adopt her. That would mean she is still current until you get to that three year mark, and its not like the protection stops being effective exactly at three years, as even for awhile after that she would have some level of protection.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:54 PM
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I can't imagine that the shelter you adopted her from did not inoculate her two years ago, when you adopted her. You can call the shelter and verify that, but my guess is she got the three year shot before the shelter let you adopt her. That would mean she is still current until you get to that three year mark, and its not like the protection stops being effective exactly at three years, as even for awhile after that she would have some level of protection.
I just checked the website, and it does say a rabies vaccination is included in the adoption fee. I'm trying to find her paperwork, which I think had specific vet records. Could've sworn it was in my file organizer, but I don't see it in there...
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:22 AM
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Thank you for your response! See, I read on several websites that the 1year shot is the same as the 3 year one and therefore should still be effective in her system. However, when I posted on Reddit asking if anyone could verify that information, I got a lot of mean-spirited replies telling me that was absolutely not true and I needed to stop looking for veterinary information on the internet. I just don't know what to trust. If it weren't state law for the vet to euthanize her as soon as my vet becomes aware of the situation, I would have already consulted her professional opinion.
Here's a quote from an article by VIN explaining how they come up with how long the vaccine last.

"The difference between one- and three-year formulations is, in many cases, little to nothing, according to scientists familiar with the manufacture and testing of vaccines.

Manufacturers’ representatives say a key distinction between most one- and three-year rabies vaccines is the testing they undergo to demonstrate the duration for which they confer immunity.

In the case of Defensor 1 and Defensor 3 vaccines made by Pfizer, testing is the only difference between the products. “The formulations are the same, but regulatory requirements for the one- and three-year vaccines are different, requiring distinct and separate studies for each label,” said Pfizer spokesman Richard Chambers.

Duration of immunity studies for the licensing of rabies vaccines and for labels on other types of vaccines are a significant and costly undertaking. Vaccine makers wishing to market products in the United States must maintain two groups of research subjects for the period for which they wish to label the product. In general, one group must include at least 20 vaccinated animals; the second is a control group that should consist of at least 10 unvaccinated animals. When the period has elapsed — one year, three years, or any other period the vaccine maker desires — both sets of subjects must be exposed to the disease. If at least 85 percent of the vaccinated animals are protected and at least 80 percent of controls develop the disease, the vaccine is considered effective for the period and labeled as such.

In reality, protection could continue much longer than the labeled period with certain vaccines and/or in some or many animals. How long immunity truly lasts for the rabies vaccine beyond the period demonstrated is unknown.

Some one- and three-year formulations do differ, but exactly in what ways is considered a trade secret. Dr. James Hall, senior associate director of veterinary technical services for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., maker of RABVAC 1, RABVAC 3 and RABVAC 3 TF, said the formulations vary but declined to specify how. “That’s proprietary information,” Hall said"

States consider controlling rabies vaccination intervals - VIN

Honestly if I were the betting type I'd place every last cent I had on her being still protected by the vaccine. If you are really worried what you can do is spend a bit of money, (it can cost upward of $400) and get titers done. That'll tell you whether she still has antibodies for the various vaccines that she receives.

Just how prevalent is rabies in your area, and what animals are showing up with it? That's another thing that will give you a general idea about whether you need to worry. From what I've been reading you'd likely be able to have noticed if those raccoons were infectious as they would have most likely been showing signs of rabies by then
Raccoons and Public Health : The Humane Society of the United States
Can I Get Rabies From a Raccoon? - Critter Ridder Austin TX
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:07 PM
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If any of the raccoons was killed during the scuffle, you could submit the body to your local health department for rabies testing. This would really be the only way to know at this point. I have been told to boost the rabies vaccine ASAP on a dog who encounters wildlife of unknown status, regardless of whether the vaccine is current or not at the time. Considering that rabies is incurable and pretty much always fatal (barring less than a handful of exceptions), I'd rather err on the side of overvaccinating than not in a case where exposure may have occurred. You could always anonymously call your/a vet or local health department and inquire, as possible rabies exposure IS a huge health risk to both you and your dog- better safe than sorry.

Quote:
I'd keep an eye on her for the recommended 10 days
As I understand it, the "10 day" quarantine is for dog/cat bite cases, because it has been shown that if rabies virus is present in the saliva on a given day, the virus will have progressed to the brain and animal will be showing neurological symptoms within 10 days. Animals can have the virus for a greater length of time (6 months is a length I've frequently heard/read) prior to actually becoming symptomatic.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:45 PM
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It sounds like you're probably over reacting. You don't know if the raccoons had rabies. (most don't) you don't know if your dog was injured but she didn't appear to be, she's probably immune but you're not positive.

I mean there is no way to tell for sure. The chance is pretty remote but considering the downside....
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