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QUESTION: Puppy licked near a closed wound(1 cm apart). Will i get rabies? He didn't seem to have rabies. He isn't vaccinated either.  Is it true that a dog not having rabies won't be able to transmit rabies?

Hi Albie,

You didn't say how old your puppy is, in most states it is required by law to vaccinate against rabies, with the first shot around 3 months of age. Getting your puppy vaccinated is something you really need to do.

Rabis can be transmitted if the saliva of an infected animal gets into a fresh scratch, or a break in the skin. Unless your puppy is already infected with rabis you won't catch the disease from him. Just the same, you should wash your wound and keep it clean.

If your puppy was infected with rabies he would have symptoms, such as:

loss of appetite
changes in behavior
change in the tone of bark

These symptoms will progress to:

extremely mean and aggressive
totally uncontrollable
break it's own teeth by biting objects
constant growling
dilated pupils

Those symptoms will progress to a final stage, where the infected dog will usually go into a coma, and may experience respiratory failure, and then die. For puppies, there is only a 20% survival rate.

Please vaccinate your puppy so he will be protected from this terrible disease. Should your puppy ever gets bitten by a wild animal (such as a rat, skunk or raccoon) he would need to be re-vaccinated. Dogs should be vaccinated against rabies every 3 years.

I hope I've been a help.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: He is 2-2.5 months old. Do i need to be vaccinated?

Hello again,

Talk to your vet to see what's the recommended age to give the rabies vaccine in your area. Sometime between 12 to 24 weeks is common.

If your puppy hasn't yet had his first shots this would be a good time to take care of those too. The "DHPP" shot (vaccine for distemper, adenovirus (aka hepatitis), parainfluenza, and parvovirus) is usually given at 10 to 12 weeks of age. After that, these vaccines aren't needed again for another 3 years.

Best of luck,


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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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