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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23759
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She tried to kill an opossum two nights ago. We found one

Customer Question

She tried to kill an opossum two nights ago. We found one spot on her leg that had blood, but the next morning it was I think it may have been the opossum's blood. Therefore, I don't think she was bitten but I'm not entirely sure. Her 3 yr rabies is good until next Sept. Overall, she is okay. But should she get the rabies booster sooner? Or is it okay for her to wait until Sept?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is the dog bleeding a lot?
Customer: No.
JA: Phew. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Lacey and she is 4 yrs old.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Lacey?
Customer: No
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

Any mammal can get rabies. However, the chance of rabies in an opossum is very rare. This may have something to do with the opossum's low body temperature (94-97º F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in an opposum's body. In any event, her current rabies vaccine should be protective. I'm more concerned that she may have been bitten and these bites will eventually abscess. This can be prevented by initiating a broad spectrum antibiotic within 72 hours of a bite wound. I would bathe Lacey which would make it easier for you to see bite wounds through the wetted down hair.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for the advice! That's good to know that opossums rarely carry rabies and that her rabies shot should cover her just in case. We will bathe her today and look again for bites. If we find one, we will make an appt with our local vet. Again, thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 days ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin