Can I get rabies vaccine after 10 days of dog bite? Expert Advice

The RIG rabies vaccine uses live virus. It can affect how well other live vaccines work. Tell your child’s doctor or health care provider if they get anti-rabies vaccines. Your child may need a booster vaccine for one recently received or have to wait 4 months before getting other vaccines like the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).

Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nerves and brain of warm-blooded animals (mammals). In the United States, wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats are most likely to carry rabies. Although rare, pet dogs and cats who have not been vaccinated can get it.

The virus is carried in the spit (saliva) of an infected animal. If that animal bites or scratches a person, the virus can spread to humans. When rabies is carried by a bat, coming in contact with bat saliva is enough to get the disease. There does not have to be an actual bite for a person to be infected.

If the animal that infects your child is caught, it is tested for rabies. You should consider any bite by a wild animal as a risk for rabies until proven otherwise. It is important to call your doctor or health care provider or go to an urgent care after all animal bites.

Does the rabies vaccine have side effects?

Although the rabies vaccine used today does have a fairly high rate of side effects, they are generally mild:

  • Sore arm (15 to 25 of 100 recipients)
  • Headache (5 to 8 of 100 recipients)
  • Nausea and vomiting (2 to 5 of 100 recipients)
  • The severe side effect of anaphylaxis has also been reported to follow vaccination in about 1 of every 10,000 doses of vaccine given. This severe allergic reaction includes such symptoms as swelling of the mouth, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure or shock. Anaphylaxis usually occurs within 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine; therefore, it is a good idea to wait in the doctors office for a little while after receiving the vaccine.

    How do you treat someone who is bitten by a potentially rabid animal?

    Treatment of people bitten by an animal that might be rabid should include the following:

  • Wash the wound carefully with soap and water.
  • Administer rabies immune globulin (RIG),* a preparation of serum obtained from people who have high levels of rabies-specific antibodies in their blood. RIG should be injected in and around the wound to prevent attachment of rabies virus to the nervous system.
  • Begin the series of shots of rabies vaccine immediately.*
  • Call animal control authorities.
  • *Rabies immune globulin and the rabies vaccine are administered in local emergency departments.

    Can I get rabies vaccine after a month of dog bite?