Q. A stray dog's leg just touched my foot. Should I take a precautionary vaccination?

Answered by
Dr. Arun Kaushik. R
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 02, 2015 and last reviewed on: Jan 22, 2019

Hi doctor,

My query is related to the necessity of rabies vaccine for me. I am a 27 year old healthy male. I am a student, staying in the large campus of my institute. This campus is filled with stray dogs and many other types of animals. People caressing those dogs is a very common scene here. One week ago, while I was walking, a dog ran in front of me. That time, its back leg touched my feet. I inspected that part well, but no visible break in the skin was observed. Should I approach a doctor for any treatment? As the disease is quite frightening, I request you to consider the minute risk too.



Welcome to

I understand your apprehension. As it is already one week since you had the dog touch your feet and there was no bleed or break of skin as such. No vaccination is required now. You should have thoroughly cleaned the region immediately after the dog had touched your leg.

I would like to know if you have any idea about the present status of the dog? As a watch of the dog for 10 days post-bite would be ideal.

Also, precautionary vaccination is not usually advised. Only, a post-exposure vaccine is advised in rabies. If anyone has a bite or break of the skin or if there is lick by a dog on a broken/cut skin or if there is any bleed from the site of bite then vaccine is recommended.

For a lick or fondling on an intact skin, only cleaning and washing the wound in running tap water is sufficient.

Thank you doctor for your reply.

I have no idea about the current status of the dog as there are many similar dogs in the campus. Unfortunately, I did not wash the area where it touched. Is it a concern, though my skin is intact?



Welcome back to

Is there any infection or pain in your leg? If none then do not worry. Just remember the points I had told and help others if in need.

If you have not taken a TT (Tetanus Toxoid) injection in the last 1-2 years, a shot of Tetanus Toxoid will help. This is just a suggestion, not mandatory. So, do not think about this if you are normal and take care to avoid bites in the future.

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