The rabies vaccine is quite effective at protecting your pet against this deadly virus but is it possible for them to become infected after being vaccinated? Our vets at Reelfoot Animal Hospital share some information about rabies and answer the question of can a vaccinated dog get rabies.

What is the rabies virus?

It is possible for the virus that causes rabies to spread through the saliva or brain and spinal tissue of either living or deceased animals. This virus is extremely dangerous and ultimately results in the death of any animal that begins to exhibit symptoms. The bite of an infected animal is where rabies is most commonly transmitted from one person to another.

Until it reaches the brain, the rabies virus will continue to spread throughout the nervous system. Once it reaches the brain, the disease is fatal. The following are some of the most common symptoms of rabies:

  • Behavioral changes (aggression, depression, unprovoked attacks)
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating or drinking
  • Overreacting to touch, sound or light
  • Staggering or falling down with eventual paralysis 
  • Excessive drooling
  • Biting or licking the wound site where the exposure occurred

The rabies virus will typically cause your dog to pass away approximately seven to ten days after it first begins to show symptoms of the disease.

When will the signs of rabies begin to appear?

On average, it can take up to two weeks for the symptoms of the rabies virus to appear in animals. However, there are situations that are extremely rare in which the virus does not begin to present symptoms for a couple of months. Because of this, vaccinations are even more important, and you should also make sure to notify your local health unit and your veterinarian, and you should also make sure to follow any instructions that someone gives you regarding your animal.

It is possible for animals to transmit the virus up to ten days before humans begin to experience symptoms of the illness.

What are the chances of a vaccinated dog getting rabies?

It is unfortunate that the rabies virus does not provide a hundred percent protection; however, this does not imply that it does not offer a significant amount of protection. In light of the fact that the rabies virus is relatively widespread, it is preferable for your pet to receive the vaccine rather than to proceed without it.

Any dog that is exposed to the rabies virus and has received their rabies vaccinations will receive a booster shot immediately and will require a 30-day quarantine effective immediately along with being unable to interact with other animals for a further 60 days after the initial 30 day period has passed.

As a result of the fact that the restrictions associated with rabies quarantine will differ from region to region, you should always make sure to contact the health unit in your area for additional information.

Can a vaccinated dog transmit rabies?

Even though the likelihood of a vaccinated dog transmitting rabies is low, it is still possible for the dog to do so. A ten-day quarantine is required for any dog that has bitten a person, regardless of whether or not the dog has received vaccinations.Within ten days, any symptoms of the virus that are present within the animal will manifest themselves if the dog or cat was infectious at the time of the bite to the human.

Can you get rabies from a dog that has been vaccinated?

Vaccinated dogs pose a slight risk of contracting rabies, despite the fact that the likelihood of contracting the disease is extremely low. A ten-day quarantine is required for any pet, whether vaccinated or not, that bites a human companion.

Rabies Prevention

The most effective and least difficult method of preventing rabies is to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date.

A further way in which you can help to ensure the safety of your pet is by being mindful and not allowing your dog to wander off. This is especially important during the night, when bats and other wildlife are most active. You can protect your family and your dog by bat-proofing your home and avoiding any and all contact with bats that you discover. This is one of the ways that you can protect your family.

In the event that your dog has been bitten by a bat or any other animal, you should immediately clean the area and seek immediate medical attention from both your veterinarian and the local health authorities.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog due for their vaccinations including their rabies booster? Contact Reelfoot Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for their routine vaccinations.