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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22600
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Hi, Squirrels knocked over my outside trashcan this morning

Resolved Question:

Hi,

Squirrels knocked over my outside trashcan this morning and were eating some old hotdog and hamburger buns I'd thrown out earlier. When I approached, the squirrels scampered off so I began to gather up the plastic bags through which the squirrels had gnawed. As I was cleaning up, the bags were wet (it was drizzling) and it occurred to me there could be squirrel saliva as well as rain water on the bags. I tend to have pretty ragged cuticles from picking at them all the time. Should I pursue post-exposure prophylaxis just in case some squirrel saliva came into contact with my ragged cuticles?

Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
Hi--just one question. What exactly do you mean by ragged cuticles?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi,


 


Well, from picking at them, my cuticles tend to not be smooth and sometimes the skin around my nails peels. They look very similar to the ones in the picture below. Also, I just realized I have a small, shallow paper cut on the side of one finger, similar to the one in the picture below the cuticles. Thank you for your advice.


Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
OK--if those were actually pictures of your fingers, I'd say absolutely nothing to worry about because there is no actual break in the skin--not even a small cut or scratch. Rarely, rabies transmission has been reported by the rabid animal's saliva coming in contact with a scratch of the skin--one where it's red and there's actually a break in the skin's integrity. I have to say, since we're doing this over the internet, that to be completely safe about this you should have a doctor, perhaps at your local Health Department, here about this and look at your fingers. The squirrels certainly weren't acting rabid, but one never knows.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I appreciate your advice. Just one more question- I know squirrels are not usually associated with being rabies carrying animals, but how high is the risk in picking up something- rabies or other viruses and/or sicknesses- from coming into contact with their saliva from picking up trash that they've chewed?


 


Thank you very much.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
Extremely rare in squirrels--rabies, that is, and you can't get any other diseases--bacteria or viruses--just from doing what you did. Here's a link for you

http://www.shl.uiowa.edu/publications/lablink/200909/rabidsquirrels.xml
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much!

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure but please remember to rate my service to you
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22600
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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