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Q. A wild dog accidentally touched my finger with his teeth and tongue. Do I need a rabies vaccine?

Answered by
Dr. Sugreev Singh
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 17, 2020

Hello doctor,

When I was feeding a wild dog, accidentally, the dog's teeth touched my fingers, maybe the tongue also touched my fingers. I returned to my home and cleaned my hands with running water, soap, and handwash. And then, I applied Suthol and Boroline. Though there is no bleeding, should I worry about this? Do I need to take the rabies vaccine? It happened just a few minutes ago. And a few months ago, a cat's teeth also scratched my hand.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

If there is no bleeding or injury mark, then no need for a vaccine. Suppose it was a simple lick or the teeth just touched, then no need to worry. Just follow the dog for 14 days. If he does not run away, then everything will be fine. Please send a picture of your finger where he licked, and I will check and confirm you about the vaccine.

Thank you.

Thnak you, doctor, for your reply.

Fine, doctor, I will keep an eye on that dog. But what if the dog dies within 14 days? I got some scratches from stray cats also almost one month ago. One of the cats almost puts her teeth in my hand, though the part where her teeth touched, swollen. Is that worrisome? Please carefully examine me. I am a little nervous. I was feeding biscuit to the dog, and then it snatched the biscuit from my hand, and his teeth touched my fingers, maybe the tongue also.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for attaching the pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity). I have checked your images carefully, and there is no mark of injury. So in case even the dog touched and maybe the tongue, no problem. Because the blood did not come, and there are no scratches. Another thing if the dog dies or you do not see him after 14 days, for precaution, you can get rabies vaccines after 14 days, no problem at all. So do not worry. And about the cat, if you think that she bit you and blood came, then you can get rabies vaccines as prevention. If there was no blood and then do not worry at all. Everything will be fine. If you find a dog is missing after 14 days, then you can take rabies vaccine shots. Otherwise no need at all. Would you like to ask anything else? Please let me know.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your advice.

Fine, I will keep an eye on the dog. But I have sent you six pictures in a collage. And about the cat, once I was holding her and she wanted to run away, that time she tried to bite me, but the moment her teeth touched my hand, I let her go. So there were a few blood spots, and that little part became swollen. And sometimes I got scratched by cat's nails almost one month ago. But after that incident, I saw them alive for more days; they are almost three to four or five to six months old when this happened.

Thanks for your time and dedication.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

That is nice that you followed the cat's health, no need to worry at all. And please stay away from wild animals. You had a few incidents with them as far as you mentioned, but all of them were normal. But for precaution and safety purposes, it is better not to feed with hands.

Thank you.


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