I have a question about if I could have contracted rabies or not. I went out today and when I cam ehome around 10:30 PM, my parents told me that my dog had gotten ahold of a bat. My dog licked me in the mouth somewhere shortly after 10:30 (he has habbit of being sneaky and getting you when you least expect it). I've read that you can get rabies by saliva contact with the mucous membranes and now I am worried that I have contracted rabies. What should I do?
This is a good question and you are correct that bats can carry rabies. First, I would recommend that you call your veterinarian and make sure your dog is up to date on his vaccinations. Domestic dogs get vaccinated against rabies, and I am assuming/hoping your dog is up to date. If not, that complicates things and he may need to be quarantined. If you still have the bat remains, you may be able to have it tested for rabies infection.
Rabies is a rare but very serious infection, and it can be transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected and symptomatic animals. If your dog has been vaccinated and is not actively infected with rabies, then he would not transmit it to you through his loving licks.
However, we do worry about the risk of rabies when a wild dog, bat, or other wild animal bites a person. Rabies is extremely rare in the United States, but the rare cases here have been attributed to bat bites. It sounds like you live in a place with bats, so if you come into contact with the bat or are at risk of the bat biting you, then I would recommend going to your doctor immediately for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin.
Thank you Doctor! We sent the bat off to be tested and it came back negative today :) We did learn some interesting info talking to my doctor about this. I didn't know that they made vaccines for rabies for human like they do for dogs and my family and I are considering getting the vaccine since our neighbors across the street have palm trees that bats like to live in
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