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QUESTION: I kept a bucket full of water in my garden. A street dog then drank water from it. I then immersed my hand in the water to lift the bucket. Could i've gotten rabies? I didn't wash my hand after that either. There are no injuries or wounds on my hand.

ANSWER: Check with your doctor if you are really concerned about this, but first of all, that dog would have had to be infected with rabies, and chances are that he was not. If there were no open wounds on your hands, then about the only way you could contact rabies through this incident would be to drink out of that bucket yourself (assuming that the dog was indeed rabid).

One should always wash his hands thoroughly after being around animals and after gardening, particularly if any sprays were used in the garden.

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

QUESTION: Also, i was bit by a dog few days ago. I started taking rabies vaccines yesterday and i took the first dose yesterday. Today, while playing with a puppy, his nail touched my almost recovered wound. Will i get rabies? The puppy isn't vaccinated and is 3 months old.

Seriously, you really need to ask these questions of your doctor.

Again, you cannot get rabies from a dog unless it has rabies, but if you should now be carrying rabies because of that dog bite, you could certainly pass it along to another creature. Stay away from animals until your treatment is over.


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Karen Brittan


I have been showing miniature schnauzers in conformation, obedience, and earthdog for forty years, and am a professional dog groomer. I am not a veterinarian and cannot answer questions of a veterinary nature. However, I can give my opinion or share some experiences on some health issues. Everyone should remember that this is a volunteer service, and few of us are up late into the night. Medical emergencies require a veterinary visit, or at least a telephone call... not an internet question which might not be viewed and answered until hours later. If your dog is sick or injured, it should be seen by a licensed professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


I have taught obedience classes and have taught people how to groom for many years.

Learn more about me and my dogs:

Member of: American Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Obedience Training Club; Elk River Kennel Club; Minnesota Professional Pet Groomers Association; Greater Twin Cities Earthdog Club.

Fifty-one years of living with, observing, and training dogs, along with numerous seminars during that time.

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