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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20734
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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If a rabid cat licks your food, can you develop rabies? An

Customer Question

If a rabid cat licks your food, can you develop rabies? An animal came through my pet door into the kitchen. My dog chased it out,but it may have licked the food on the counter first. I took a bite of it, not thinking. I am worried the animal was rabid because I didn't actually see the animal and it would be odd behavior to come into my house. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next five to ten minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again

I have worked out an answer for you below ...

1. If you are concerned about your own health following this incident then you should consult with your local doctor and this would be my specific advice.

2. However if this had happened to me I would not be worried or lose any sleep since rabies is almost always spread by an actual bite from an infected animal as this injects the virus into the tissue and hence the blood stream. Even if the saliva was from an infected animal then swallowing contaminated food would usually not be a hazard since the virus will be destroyed by the stomach acid.

3. On top of that there was no indication that the cat was in fact rabid, it would be fairly common behaviour for cats to come into houses in search of food, and a rabid cat would have been far more likely to hang about even in the face of the dog.

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I am just checking back in to see how you are getting on after our recent dialogue concerning the cat who came into your house ...

Please get back to me and let me know how things are going.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.