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"A street dog scratched me three days back, is there a chance of me being infected with Rabies?"

ZocdocAnswersA street dog scratched me three days back, is there a chance of me being infected with Rabies?


Hi, A street dog scratched me three days back.. It was not an indented one as the dog was running because of the bursting cracker noise and he's paw feel on my right leg thumb (think skin side).. I had a poke sensation.. I checked after few minutes to see if there is any blood oozing out but nothing.. I tried to press the thumb hard to see any minute flow of blood but no nothing.. Can't see any visible mark of the same.. Is there a chance of me being infected with Rabies? What are the symptoms of me to detect it, if any? Note: I'm in India and street dogs here are not vaccinated...


I am sorry to hear about your recent encounter with a stray dog in India. I recommend that you speak with your doctor. Rabies is certainly a concern with any strange animal that you may have contact with in a different country. In the United States, contracting rabies from dogs is quite rare, and is more commonly found in animals such as bats. However, it would be concerning if a stray animal from a rabies endemic country has bitten or broken the skin and bleeding is visible, in addition to if there are signs or symptoms of infection such as pain, warmth, redness, or pus at the site. It is also important to note how the animal in the attack was behaving and whether the attack was unprovoked, as these are clues as to whether the animal has rabies. If the animal seemed wild, aggressive, was salivating excessively, and attacked you out of nowhere, these would be signs concerning for rabies. However, it sounds like this particular dog did not attack you per se, but you were harmed because the dog was alarmed by a loud sound and you happened to be in its path. The decision to give rabies vaccination after a possible exposure depends on many different factors such as the type of animal, the country in which the exposure occurred, and whether the animal can be observed for testing. In addition, different countries have different guidelines as to how and when to initiate treatment. I would encourage you to speak with a doctor in order to address these questions and receive further guidance.

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