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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18799
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My dog was bit by a muskrat, and he is due for his rabies shot,

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My dog was bit by a muskrat, and he is due for his rabies shot, should I be concerned?

Sorry to hear that your dog got bit by a muskrat. Can you answer a couple questions for me?
1) Has your dog ever had a rabies vaccine? How many rabies vaccines has he had? If so when was the last one?
2) What was your dog doing when he got bit? Was the muskrat in an abnormal area - your yard, the street, middle of the day?

Let me know,
Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He had his last rabies shot just under 2 years ago. He has had 3 rabies shots that I know of. The muskrat was in my yard and it was around 11 in the morning. I had let my dog out to go to the bathroom when it happened.
Do you normally have wildlife like this muskrat in your yard? Do you live near a creek, or woods? Did your dog find him in the middle of your yard?

A majority of the rabies vaccines on the market are actually labeled for use every 3 years. If your dog has been vaccinated by this type of vaccine then he is actually within that coverage time for being up to date on the vaccine. Does your state require rabies vaccines every 2 years? It is something that each state can set the rabies vaccine law requirements. Some states have 1 year, some have 3 all depends.

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We live right next to a canal, and we have had deer around from time to time. But the muskrat was up next to my house when it happened. And our state law requires them to have rabies vaccines every 2 years. How long before I will know if he is ok?
Your dog should be in a pretty good situation. If your state requires dogs to have the rabies vaccines every 2 years and it is the 3 year labeled vaccine, they he's technically a currently vaccinated animal by the product but not by the law in your state.

Dogs that are currently vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately and kept under your control/observation for 45 days.

My hope is that the muskrat being up next to the house at that time of the day was because of food. I've seen a lot of possums and raccoons coming up to houses to get pet food that is outside. Was there any dog or cat food or garbage that he might be getting into?

If you had the muskrat to turn in for rabies testing, you could get an answer as to if your dog was exposed to rabies. This is most of the times not an option. I always stress for owners to not try and capture the animal that bit their pet because the last thing needed is potentially a human exposure.

Dr. Bruce

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