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#1 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What would you do if your child was bit by a dog whose rabies vaccine status was either unknown or expired?


What about a dog that exhibited rabid symptoms?

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#2 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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There is another thread right now identical to this one.

Pretty much everyone said they would do the standard rabies treatment since rabies is 100% fatal.
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#3 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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P.S. assume there are medical factors that make routine vaccination impossible.

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#4 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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If the dog was available, you could quarantine or test.

If the dog started to exhibit symptoms, you do the shots. Problems with routine immunizations fail to make rabies any less fatal.

I really don't understand the issues with the rabies vaccination. This isn't chicken pox. Your child will not recover, and failure to allow your child to receive post-exposure prophylaxis is deciding to allow your child to die.
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#5 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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A normal, household pet? I wouldn't even consider the rabies series.

If there is a good reason to suspect rabies, I would evaluate the situation.

-Angela
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#6 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it is a normal house hold pet. His rabies vaccine has expired a few months ago, and they want me to dog sit, but not bring my kids because of this. I don't know enough about it, so I'm looking into it. I really don't know if there is time to test the animal or what. I know rabies is fatal 100% of the time, but the thought of giving my kid all those shots and risk seizures (family history), and possibly death for a dog that most likely does not have rabies boggles my mind. I always thought to test an animal, you had to kill it first, because it's in the brain or something... or is that an old wives tale? Is there time to test before the shots?

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#7 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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Has he had any kind of exposure in the months since his last vax expired? Out chasing wild raccoons or something? Rabies doesn't just spontaneously develop in animals. He would have had to get bitten by something.

I also believe there's a margin of error built into the pet vax timetable. The dog likely still has some degree of immunity.

If you're really not comfortable, could you ask them to update his vax or find another pet sitter? I know the vax is dangerous to the pet, but when you're talking about vaccinating a human so you don't have to vaccinate a dog, that does not seem right.
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#8 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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I would not worry at all about a household pet. Even totally unvaccinated. Definitely not one whose vax has just officially expired.

Rabies isn't rampant among household pets. It's VERY rare. Usually only seen in cases where they are out among wild animals- tangling with coons and such.

-Angela
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#9 of 16 Old 04-28-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
Yes, it is a normal house hold pet. His rabies vaccine has expired a few months ago, and they want me to dog sit, but not bring my kids because of this. I don't know enough about it, so I'm looking into it. I really don't know if there is time to test the animal or what. I know rabies is fatal 100% of the time, but the thought of giving my kid all those shots and risk seizures (family history), and possibly death for a dog that most likely does not have rabies boggles my mind. I always thought to test an animal, you had to kill it first, because it's in the brain or something... or is that an old wives tale? Is there time to test before the shots?
I'd talk to a vet, but I think you should be able to test for rabies without killing the animal. That said, in this situation, I don't understand why the dog owners don't re-vaccinate their pet (which they have to do in order to legally keep it in most municipalities).

If my child was bitten by an animal with symptoms of rabies or provable rabies infection, I would want the vax (even though it totally sucks to get), but I wouldn't assume that a pet who bit had rabies, unless there were other rabid symptoms or some reason to suspect exposure.
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#10 of 16 Old 04-29-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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Yes, it is a normal house hold pet. His rabies vaccine has expired a few months ago, and they want me to dog sit, but not bring my kids because of this.
Ask them what they mean by expired. In some states, the rabies vaccine is only considered good for 12 months (our used to be this way). Other places the same vaccine is good for three years. Also, you can look into some of the research on the effectiveness of the vaccine at 3, 5 and 7 years. If this is an inside dog, with no unsupervised access to the outdoors and no history of animal bites in the last few months I think I would be fine with that.

OTOH, it is their animal and their liability if your child should be bit and the dog is not up to date on the vaccine, so it should be their call.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-29-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I'd talk to a vet, but I think you should be able to test for rabies without killing the animal. That said, in this situation, I don't understand why the dog owners don't re-vaccinate their pet (which they have to do in order to legally keep it in most municipalities).
The only way to really test for rabies is to dissect the brain. So, killing the animal is needed. However, for domestic pets most areas allow quarantine for a time period to see if symptoms manifest.

I totally understand why pet owners would choose not to vaccinate. The down sides of vaccines in pets were actually wide-spread knowledge before the concerns about childhood vaccines.

-Angela
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#12 of 16 Old 04-29-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
The only way to really test for rabies is to dissect the brain. So, killing the animal is needed. However, for domestic pets most areas allow quarantine for a time period to see if symptoms manifest.

I totally understand why pet owners would choose not to vaccinate. The down sides of vaccines in pets were actually wide-spread knowledge before the concerns about childhood vaccines.

-Angela
Per the NIH (here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001334.htm), they can test humans for rabies using immunofloresence on skin or saliva, so it seems like they should be able to do that for animals as well, although the whole dead brain thing remains the standard.

That same NIH page reports that it's been several years since anyone in the US contracted rabies from a dog bite.
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#13 of 16 Old 04-30-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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The only way to really test for rabies is to dissect the brain. So, killing the animal is needed.
This is an important thing to remember. DH and I talked about this once, and in the case that a wild animal comes into the yard and attacks us (we do live in the woods), I should do my best to kill or incapacitate it without destroying the head. I won't get into the gory details, but it's a good thing to think about before you get into that situation, how you would deal.
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#14 of 16 Old 04-30-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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is the rabies vaccine 100% effective? if so, couldn't they do a titer test on the dog to see if the vaccine is still there? it likely is, since it's only a few months after it supposedly expires. we take our dogs' titers instead of vaccines and they usually come up still protected a few years out...
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#15 of 16 Old 04-30-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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i moved to maui and we had to vaccinate up the wazoo for rabies AND do a titer check. my dog hadn't been vaxed for rabies in at least five years and her titers came up just fine. we still had to vax though because hawaii requires it.

most worries about rabies come from bats and raccoons.

i would not even question having a kid around a household pet whose vax had just expired.

eh. who needs a signature?
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#16 of 16 Old 04-30-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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While I agree there's no real concern of rabies in this scenario, I think mommy-e made a really valid point. If the dog is behind of vaccines and bites your child, they will be liable. They'll be responsible for any medical bills and they'll have to deal with animal control and a quarantine (where I live, that's at the owner's expense). Their house, their rules, I guess.
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