What to do when my dog got bit by a Raccoon?

When we talk about rabies, the first spreader that comes to our mind is a dog. Dog and wolves are often seen associated with rabies, but there are many more animals who are potential spreaders of rabies, including the raccoon. 

No doubt a dog once got infected with rabies becomes a potential spreader of rabies. But other animals, when infected with rabies, bit the dog; they can cause the dog to get infected by rabies as well. And raccoon is one of the most dangerous spreaders of rabies to the dog. So biting rabid raccoons to the dog can lead to the development of rabies stage in dogs, which is undesirable.

Many people have a query about what to do when my dog got bit by a raccoon? The answer is immediately visiting your vet. In the case when your dog is already vaccinated for rabies, get them a booster dose of rabies vaccine. But in the case of no prior vaccination against rabies, there is a need for the post-exposure prophylactic vaccine for rabies. 

What to do when the dog got bit by a raccoon?

On getting bitten by a raccoon, take the dog to the vet. The vet will analyze the situation and then either administer the booster rabies vaccination dose in the case when the dog is already prior vaccinated or will administer a post-exposure prophylactic dose for rabies in the case of no prior vaccination.

The next recommended step is to find the culprit raccoon. Then, when it is found dead, send the sample to the laboratory to examine the presence of rabies infection in the animal. Or, in the case when the animal is found alive, send the complete animal or its saliva to the laboratory for the diagnosis of rabies in that raccoon. 

If the report is normal, there is no need to worry as that bite only leads to a wound that will soon recover. But in the case the when the animal found rabid positive, it is a piece of extremely bad news for you. And it is even worse in the case when your dog has no prior vaccination against rabies. Many countries only have vaccines against rabies but no post-exposure prophylactic dose for the rabies infection. 

In this case, the only thing you can do is to get the dog vaccinated just after the bit on 0 days, 3rd day, 7th day, 14th day, and 21st day along with a booster dose on the 90th day. Also, it is recommended to quarantine your dog strictly for 6 months at least in order to protect your family and other pets from the infection.

After the quarantine time, when there is no development of symptoms, simply send the saliva sample of the dog to the laboratory to diagnose the development of rabies virus or infection. If the result is negative, get back your canine buddy back to your home and this time, pre-vaccinate all your pets against the rabies virus every 12 months. 

If the report is rabies positive, the only option left to you is to euthanize your dog. Unfortunately, it means killing your dog or taking help from the vet for killing using the most painless method.    

In the case when rabies symptoms develop in the dog including hypersalivation, dog unable to drink water, they become extremely aggressive and later become extremely dull, howling, they unable to bark properly, progressive muscle paralysis, etc., it means that the dog has developed rabies symptoms. Consult the vet for confirmation and then euthanize your dog.

Euthanization of the rabid dog is extremely important first to protect your family and other pets from rabies infection and also to free your beloved dog from suffering. 

What are the precautions to prevent rabies in dogs?

 There is no successful treatment for rabies. The only way to prevent rabies is a precaution. It is required that you keep your dog pre-vaccinated against the rabies virus from the 1st year of their age and keep administering them with booster rabies dose every 12 months. 

In the case of a raccoon bite, get the booster dose instantly but at least within 5 days. Following these precautions will protect your loving canine buddy from fatal rabies virus infection.

The bottom line

In the last, all we want to say is never to delay rabies or any other kind of vaccination prescribed by your vet for your pet. The vaccination re the only way to protect your fido from several dangerous and life-threatening diseases.            

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