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Avatar universal

Bit by pitbull, not sure if it was vaccinated

On Wednesday, I was bitten by a Pitbull on my left hand. My skin was very dry and cracked before the bite and there were also a few mosquito bumps on my hand. The bite itself left a welt that resembled a large mosquito bump, but I did not see any blood or puncture wound. I have 3 questions:

1. Should I get vaccinated for rabies since the vaccination status and location of the dog and its owner is unknown?
2. Can I get rabies if the dog's saliva got on my cracked skin or a mosquito bite?
3. Is it too late for a post-exposure rabies vaccine to be effective for me?

9 Responses
15439126 tn?1444443163
I think much depends on just how cracked your skin was.  If it were so raw in portions as to be verging on behaving like a mucuous membrane, I'd be worried some of the dog's saliva got into a crack.  

I suggest the safe approach (considering the deadly consequences of underestimating things), would be to report the incident to the authorities and consult a doctor as to what you ought to do if the authorities can not find and determine the dog's rabies innoculation status.  
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and sorry this happened to you. You should go the Emergency room or Urgent care as soon as possible. If the dogs saliva got into any wound or bite or any open skin) you are at risk if the dog had rabies. Also, if you get it in your eyes, nose or mouth. Since you don't know whether they were vaccinated it is best to get the vaccination. I don't see how you can't get it. In the U.S. It is less likely however not impossible. It depends on the dog and whether they bit a stray animal. There is no way to know until it is too late for you.

You need to get it now. I don't it is too late.

mkh9
Avatar universal
I went to urgent care and the doctor said my skin wasn't broken so I'm not at risk. However, he only glanced over my hand so I don't think his analysis was all that accurate.

Also, my primary doctor's office is closed until Monday, so realistically I'll be getting the vaccine on Tuesday. I really hope it's still effective that late after getting bit.
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Here is some guidelines from the CDC. If you feel there was no open skin at all you are okay. It is up to you if you don't think any saliva got in the cracked skin or in a bite. If the cracked skin wasn't open then you may be okay. I think I would get a second opinion. I'm not sure if the cracked skin was open enough for the saliva to get in. Did you ask the doctor about that?

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/

mkh9
Avatar universal
I'll be seeing my primary doc tomorrow.
Avatar universal
Also, I told him (urgent care doc) about my dry skin and he still said that there were no breaks in my skin.
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Good to get a second opinion on this. He won't be able to see as much since the wound would be older. It would have been good to have had a photo of it. But the opinion may help put closure on it.
regards,
mkh9
Avatar universal
Went to doctor yesterday, only got a tetanus shot. My dr. didn't consider rabies being probable even without knowing the animal's history.
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Well, I am not sure why not. Maybe because it is so prevalent in the U.S. in dogs but dogs on the loose can bite other animals that have it. I happen to know that there are wild animals here that have it. But it isn't that high as in other countries. Since it doesn't sound like the dog broke the skin that is the key issue here anyway. Then I would base your decision on that.
take care,
mkh9
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