Medical Specialty >> Infections

Doctors Lounge - Infections Answers

Back to Infections Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: possible rabies contact

 jaeger - Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:09 am

I adopted a new puppy, and on 2/17/2009 I got cut on my hand when reaching into my puppy's mouth which bled a little bit. The puppy was unvaccinated at that time(too young). My doctor said not to worry about it because rabies is rare in dogs but to call him if the dog gets sick. It has now been about 40 days since then and the dog is still fine and healthy. Since the dog is still alive and healthy does this indicate that he could not have spread the rabies virus to me? Is it normal for people to not get rabies shots if the dog appears healthy? How much longer do I need to observe the dog?

Thank you very much for the website, any assistance would be appreciated.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:09 pm

User avatar Hello,
Rabies is unusual in a domestic animal that has not been running around out where exposure could happen through contact with a wild animal that is infected. I agree with your doctor and I would not worry about it. Some form of Infection is always a possibility with an animal bite but you would have had symptoms had you gotten some bacteria in there.

A bite by an infected animal is a concern only after the virus is in the saliva and this happens late in the disease after the virus has reached the brain and multiplied after which time it causes inflammation of the brain and moves to the salivary glands and saliva. So, a normal pet without symptoms is not a risk to you. The greatest fear comes when the animal is not to be found and identified so the status is unknown.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us