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Q. My vaccinated pet dog scratched me today. Should I get the rabies vaccination?

Answered by
Dr. Kapil Kumar Gupta
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 20, 2020 and last reviewed on: Apr 01, 2021

Hi doctor,

I scratched by my vaccinated dog today a few hours ago. Also, there was no bleeding in my hand. But there is some redness there. So guide me that it is still necessary to have ARV. Also, five months ago, I was vaccinated with ARV when there is a scratch of a dog then.

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Hello.

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Although unvaccinated animals are more likely to transmit rabies, vaccinated animals can also do so if the vaccination of the biting animal was ineffective for any reason. History of rabies vaccination in an animal is not always a guarantee that the biting animal is not rabid. Animal vaccine failures may occur because of improper administration or poor quality of the vaccine, poor health status of the animal, and the fact that one vaccine dose does not always provide long-lasting protection against rabies infection in dogs or cats. The scratch on your skin comes under category II for post-exposure prophylaxis, for which anti-rabies vaccine is indicated. And although you have taken the vaccine five months before and your dog is also vaccinated, there are very minimal chances of you or your dog having rabies, but there is a minuscule chance. But according to the guidelines, you should get vaccinated again. Make sure to clean the area of scratch properly and thoroughly with soap and water. Observe your pet for the next ten days and see if its health deteriorates, which, if it does, would be a strong indication to get vaccinated.



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