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Rabies- what's the risk?

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Rabies- what's the risk?
  • Not sure if this is in the right forum, so feel free to move it!
    What are the chances of a dog contracting rabies by eating the remains of a dead squirrel, mouse, rat, etc.? I was out with our dog, and he rolled in what I think was the carcass of a dead rat. Sort of made me wonder.
    We live in British Columbia; I'm sort of assuming that the prevelance of rabies here is fairly low.
  • Ummm, does your dog have his shots??  If he actually ate the creature then I would have him tested ASAP.  Just to be on the safe side.
  • Yep, he's got his shots, and no, he didn't eat any of it. I was just curious. :)
  • Haven't seen you on the forum before.. just wanted to say hello. Sorry I'm not much help.
    Is that your pup on your avatar? How adorable!
  • I sure hope you bathed him before letting him on the sofa! [:D]
    Rabies is very serious and is a risk in many areas, even city areas like Toronto, where I am. If your dog is vaccinated he should be okay, but you can look for signs of rabies infection. If anything pops up, take him to the vet, ASAP. Rabies is fatal.
  • according the link i posted once symptons show its already too late and death will follow. but symptoms dont usually show up for 20 to 60 days.
    i have never heard of rabies being contracted from a dead animal. not saying it isnt impossible, but i havent heard of it happening yet. i would be more worried about other things like parasites and bacteria from a dead animal than i would be about rabies.
    i dont have the link anymore, but i used to know of a website that showed recent outbreaks in different places. you just typed in your location.... but.. that might have just been for my state, but BC might have the same thing. just check the local CDC website to see if its abig risk in your area.
  • DumDog- thanks for the links! I looked through the website, though, and wasn't able to find anything on rabies in relation to dead animals. I could have sworn that I read something, somewhere, about rabies and the cerebrospinal fluid of dead wild animals. And I think I read that on this forum...?
    redlegos- hello! I kind of wander in and out of this forum a lot. Since I started university, I've been winked out of existence, entirely. And yep, that's my dog, Cyrus, in my avatar. :)
  • well.... hmm... rabies does attack the central nervous system, but its spread via saliva...
    the only thing i remember about dead animals and rabies was from Ole Yeller [8|]
  • I believe it's been stated that rats are considered low or no risk of being rabies carriers, as any injury that would be able to pass the disease on to them would likely kill them long before they could contract the disease.
    Not sure if squirrels are the same, but I'd assume so, as they're also small and rodenty
  • I was once on a hokey little train to the Grand Canyon. The guide was going over the dangers of feeding the wild animals and said that a man had complained of being bitten by a squirrel. They said that he was very lucky it wasn't a rabbit as rabbits can carry rabies.
    There was something that squirrels have a metabolism that is too fast to actually transmit the disease. They die before they are communicable.
    Really, as long as your dog is vaccinated, I would be annoyed but not worried about rolling in dead things. Dogs do it all the time, and I've never heard of rabies being contracted this way.
  • according to the CDC rodents don't carry rabies, except for woodchucks. Around here the foxes, raccoons, and cats are what carry rabies. You'd be surprised how many people fail to vaccinate their cats...
  • I'm not sure of the rabies thing, but Charlie got ahold of a dead animal about a month ago and got a tapeworm.  So just make sure you check the poop for anything weird or maybe get a fecal done (my vet only charges a couple of bucks for those) to make sure everything is OK (not sure if that's a full proof test but better than nothing).
  • Around here, bats are what carry rabies and it is rare, but still happens enough for rabies vaccines to be required.  I keep all my animals vaccinated except for one cat b/c she developed a sarcoma from her rabies vaccine.