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. Kara Your Own Question

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9268
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience treating cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, and iguanas
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Not sure if this is the place to ask, however its a start.

Resolved Question:

Not sure if this is the place to ask, however it's a start. My dog got into a fight with a woodchuck a day ago. She does not appear to have any wounds etc. Later that day as we were having dinner, I got up to answer the phone. The dog jumped up and ate some food off my plate, unbeknownst to me. I sat back down and finished my dinner. As I got up, one of my roommates burst out laughing. They decided not to tell me the dog had eaten off my plate.

I'm just wondering about rabies exposure with the dogs saliva having possibly come into contact with the woodchucks, then transferring it to my food? I have no idea if the woodchuck was rabid. I have not seen it since. I did not witness the confrontation either.

Just wanted to get an expert opinion before I did anything.

Thank you for your time,

Max
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about your dog's exposure to a wood chuck and then you eating food that she had licked.

There are several reasons that it is very unlikely you have been exposed to or may become infected with Rabies.

Woodchucks are not a species that is commonly infected with Rabies. When they do become infected they usually die pretty quickly and are unlikely to be healthy enough long enough to expose other animals.

Rabies is a very slow growing and reproducing virus. When an animal is bitten the virus needs to travel through tissue along nerves and make its way to the salivary glands, reproduce there, and then be released in the saliva. That cannot possibly happen within 24 hours.

Rabies is a virus that does not live outside the body for very long. The infected saliva needs to be injected into tissue via a bite. The virus sitting on food and then being eaten and exposed to stomach acid would kill the virus.

I can understand that you are concerned, and you may want to call your physician for reassurance, but on a microbiology level I don't believe that you had any exposure.

If your dog is current on her vaccination for Rabies then it is even more unlikely that any exposure occurred.

You do want to confine your dog for at least 2 weeks to watch for any symptoms. You may wish to revaccinate her now for Rabies just as a precaution if she is current on her vaccine for Rabies, or at the end of her confinement if she isn't current on her Rabies vaccine.

Best of luck with your pup, I hope this information helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She is up on her vaccine. I think she needs a booster next year. I guess I was really more concerned about the woodchucks actual saliva itself being on Jeenie's fur, mouth, etc and being transferred to my food. But the encounter occurred several hours before we ate; and you mentioned the virus doesn't survive long outside the body. Is that an accurate statement?

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the clarification of your concerns.

I would not be at all concerned about the virus from the woodchuck's saliva still being alive on her coat several hours later. The virus, even if originally present in the woodchuck's saliva, would have been long dead.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't think I would have been worried at all, but there was a PSA sort of article in the paper not too long ago about rabid animals and what to do to avoid them.


 


Thank you very much for your time. Excellent service! :)

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I understand that those PSA's can sometimes get people overly concerned. The big concern with Rabies is that it is almost impossible to treat in people once it gets to a certain point and that you may not realize that you were bitten or scratched and contracted it until too late. They are trying to get people to avoid direct contact with wild animals, which should be the real message.

In your case with your history there are no worries.

Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9268
Experience: Over 20 years of experience treating cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, and iguanas
Dr. Kara and 5 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Kara

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. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1656
    12 years of small animal veterinary medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1451
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1306
    35 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1889
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • /img/icons/shirt.jpg Dr. Jenn's Avatar

    Dr. Jenn

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1225
    Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.
 
 
 

Related Veterinary Questions