Can You Get Rabies if Bitten by a Vaccinated Dog?

Rabid Dog

Who doesn’t love pets? They are cute, innocent, and playful generally. But sometimes they can be fatal. Animal bites are very common while handling a pet. But you should never handle it carelessly otherwise you could be infected by Rabies.

Rabies is one of the oldest diseases mankind had encountered. It is a viral disease and is transmitted from mammals to humans. It affects mainly the brain and central nervous system (CNS)

Rabies virus is a single-stranded RNA and belongs to the genus Lyssavirus and the family Rhabdoviridae. It is generally transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from a rabid animal.

Once the rabies virus gets into an animal’s body, it either directly enters into the peripheral nervous system or starts replicating into muscle tissue or and spreading in the nerve fiber including peripheral, sensory, and motor nerves. And then eventually to the brain. It usually takes up to 10 days but sometimes 1 month.

Types of rabies

Rabies is generally of two forms: paralytic and furious.

In the early phase of rabies, a dog shows mild signs of CNS abnormalities.

This stage lasts up to 2- 3 days and is followed by either of these two forms.

– Furious rabies is characterized by extreme changes in behavior. Generally ferociousness and aggressive nature.

– Paralytic rabies is also known as dumb rabies. It is characterized by weakness and lack of coordination and consequently paralysis.

– Or maybe a combination of these two.

Stages of Rabies

When a rabid dog bites a human, rabies spread in its body in five stages:

– Incubation

– Prodrome

– Acute neurologic period

– Coma

– Death 


The incubation period continues for 30-90 days, or in rare cases up to 2 years. This stage period is shorter in children and if bitten close to the CNS.

Prodromal Period

This stage lasts up to 2 to 10 days. Clinical Symptoms are first to occur during this period.

Acute Neurological period

This period begins with mainly CNS dysfunction. This period is characterized by either of the two forms: furious or dumb rabies. Furious rabies occurs if hyperactivity predominates and dumb if paralysis dominates.

At the end of this period, rapid and irregular breathing is followed. And then paralysis or coma follows.

What are the symptoms of Rabies in humans?

Common symptoms of Rabies in human include:

– Fever

– Fatigue

– Problem in the respiratory system (sore throat, cough)

– Gastrointestinal malfunctions anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea)

– Problems associated with the Central nervous system (headaches, anxiety, vertigo, nervousness, irritability)

– Other common abnormalities ( insomnia, nightmares, depression, photophobia, etc)

– Generally, the infected area becomes sensitive and painful.

– paresthesia, nuchal rigidity, muscle fasciculations, focal and generalized convulsions, hyperventilation, and hypersalivation

– Shortage of breath, rapid breathing, or respiratory arrest.

What are the symptoms of Rabies in dogs?

If your dog has a fight recently with another animal or comes in any contact with a rabid animal, you should immediately take him to the veterinarian for inspection. Moreover, if your dog inhibit any of these symptoms you should get alert.

– Fever

– Seizures

– Paralysis

– Dropped Jaw

– Pica

– Hydrophobia

– Difficulty to swallow

– Change in tone f bark

– Lack of muscular coordination

– Excessive frothy saliva (hypersalivation)

– Usual changes in behavior, either shyness, excitedness, or aggression

– Constant irritability.

 What animal’s caries Rabies?

Rabies is carried by bats, cattle, cats, foxes, raccoons, dogs, wolves, jackals, etc. Almost any mammal can be infected by a Rabies virus.

How is Rabies transmitted?

The rabies virus attacks the nervous system of mammals and transmitted from the infected animal:-

– Saliva (any kind of contact)

– Animal bite

– Scratch

Though there is no evidence of getting infected by consumption of milk, blood, urine, feces or simply touching it.

Is Rabies a fatal disease?

Rabies is an extremely fatal disease and if left untreated can be life-threatening. It is estimated that Rabies kills more than 59,000 people every year.

How to treat an animal bite?

If a dog bites you, you should take these steps:

  • Wash the wound or scratch with soap/detergent and with lots of water for about 15 minutes.
  • After this, apply iodine or anti-viral cream.
  • Take the injured person as soon as possible to the doctor.
  • Confine the infected animal and observe him closely for at least 10 days.
  • Avoid applying chili powder, juices, salt, acids, or any kind of alkali.
  • Do not cover the wound with any bandage or dressing.

How long does it take for a dog to show signs of rabies?

Clinical symptoms of rabies show after the incubation period which lasts up to 10 days to 1 year in humans and 2 weeks- 4 months in dogs.

Frequently asked Questions

Is there any chance of getting rabies if bitten by a vaccinated dog?

Well, this is a chance of probability. Though a dog may be vaccinated, he still can transfer rabies as his body could have the saliva of a rabid animal. Therefore if a dog bites you should probably seek a doctor’s advice. A doctor can consider giving you some rabies prevention injections like immunoglobulin.

An injured person should seek medical assistance within 72 hours. They should not delay as it can be fatal and can cause even death. Moreover, if you or the dog shows any kind of symptoms you better get serious.

The dog should be also placed under observation for 10 days. If the dog is normal and does not die everything is ok…you are safe.

Can a dog get rabies if it has been vaccinated?

No, if your dogs have had a good quality vaccine is an update with boosters, and has strong immunity.

Do puppies have rabies?

Every mammal small or adult can be infected by rabies. If an infected animal bites or its saliva enters in nose, mouth, or ear, your puppy can be infected by rabies.

Is rabies contagious?

Rabies isn’t contagious in humans. Though rabies can be transmitted through transplants (kidney, cornea, or liver) from an infected person.

How can a dog get rabies?  

A dog can get infected by the rabies virus by animal bites or any kind of contact with its saliva.

How to protect yourselves from Rabies?

  • Get your pet or livestock vaccinated. Don’t let them wander around unsupervised.
  • Don’t let them contact any stray animals.
  • Never touch any unfamiliar pet or animal.
  • Don’t touch dead animals.
  • If any animal bites you visit the doctor as soon as possible.

How soon do you need to get a rabies shot after the bite?

Once a person gets bitten by a dog immediately seek a doctor. The first rabies shot should be taken within the first 24 hours.

How do I know if my dog has rabies?

If your dog has a fight recently with another animal or comes in any contact with a rabid animal, you should immediately take him to the veterinarian for inspection. Moreover, if your dog inhibits symptoms such as fever, aggressiveness, change in behavior or dropped jaws. .

What does rabies do to a human?

After the bite, the rabies virus spreads to the nerve cells and then to the brain. This causes inflammation in the brain and the person soon deteriorates and dies.

How long does rabies take to kill?

The infected dog dies within one to two weeks after the symptoms begin.

What kills the rabies virus?

The rabies virus can be killed by sunlight, soap, water, or sanitizer.

What should I do if infected dog saliva is on my hands?

Rabies virus is very weak and can easily be killed by soaps, detergent, or sanitizer. Therefore if infected animal drools on your hand or skin you should wash it with lots of soap and water.