How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Lajos Your Own Question

Dr. Lajos
Dr. Lajos, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 857
Experience:  DVM for 10 years, Emergency Medicine Experience, Veterinary Pathologist
19414232
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Lajos is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hi. my dog just bit and killed a possum in our back yard. our

Customer Question

hi. my dog just bit and killed a possum in our back yard. our dog is in need of a rabies booster and I am now very worried. should i take him to an emergency animal clinic tonight for a rabies shot? What should I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer

I have a few questions to ask to help me answer you.

First, I don't expect you need to go to the vet tonight unless your dog is injured.

How long since your dog's last rabies vaccine?

Did your dog suffer any injuries?

Was the opossum acting strangely or seemingly ill?

Thanks
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think he had his last three-year rabies shot in July 2005. :(

 

No injuries that I can see.

 

Our dogs have a 21 x 42 foot dog run/pen and so are rarely exposed to other animals. I was not aware that the possum was in the dogpen until I went out to bring my dogs in (they were out for the last time this evening -- only about five minutes or so -- and when i went out to bring them in, the shepherd would not come in and I saw that he was standing over the dead possum. My husband shoveled the possum up and said he had been recently killed.

 

So, I can't comment on the opossum's behavior.

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was wrong -- our dog was injured. I just checked him over and there is a bite on the left side, just below his neck, and there is blood -- though not much blood and not currently bleeding.
Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.
Okay, thanks for the information.

There is very little risk that the opossum would have had rabies. While it is possible for any mammal to get and transmit rabies, it is very rare in the opossum. Since your dog has had more than one rabies vaccine and was on the 3 year type he probably still has more than adequate protection. The vaccine lasts longer than 3 years, but due to regulations, certain testing as well as local laws call for a repeat every three years in adult up-to-date dogs.

Thanks for the update:

You can clean and rinse the wound with plenty of warm water and a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide, just a small amount, and apply some triple antibiotic around the edges. You can wait and take your dog in tomorrow to have the bite checked. They are often times not closed, just cleaned, allowed to heal, with sometimes antibiotics administered..

I would recommend getting the rabies boostered soon.

You can also dig up the opossum, put it in a plastic bag and on ice in a cooler and have it submitted for rabies testing if you want to double check. You vet or local animal control can tell you how to get this done.

I hope this helps

Please let me know if you have any follow-on questions
Dr. Lajos, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 857
Experience: DVM for 10 years, Emergency Medicine Experience, Veterinary Pathologist
Dr. Lajos and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I just cleaned the wound and it turns out that the blood must have been from the opposum -- the blood was on my dog's hair, but there is no puncture/wound in his skin.

 

I did bag the opposum and it is very cold here in Michigan -- temps in the 30s -- so I will leave it outside tonight, protected, so other animals can't get to it -- and bring it to the vet tomorrow.

 

I will also bring my dog in for a rabies booster tomorrow. So, no need to race to the emergency room tonight, then?

 

Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.
No. I don't see any need to go tonight. Glad to hear he wasn't bitten, even less chance of getting anything that way.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you sooooo much Dr. Lajos! You have really put my mind at ease -- I'll be able to sleep better tonight and will take my dog in first thing in the morning!

 

I've already accepted your answer so you should be getting paid -- I so appreciate your help!

 

Amy

Expert:  Dr. Lajos replied 4 years ago.
You are very welcome, thanks for accepting, and I'm sure your dog will be fine.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.