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A 24-year-old member asked:

Can an uninfected dog pass on rabies?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Extremely unlikely: An uninfected dog would not pass rabies to another animal or person. A hypothetical situation in which an uninfected dog could transmit rabies is if the dog got a big smear of infected animal saliva onto his dog fur, and then the dog's master hugged and petted his dog, and somehow managed to transfer the infected saliva from the dog fur into his (the master's) own eyes, nose, mouth, or skin wound.
Dr. Stephen Scholand
Infectious Disease 23 years experience
Dog bite risks: A dog that isn't exhibiting symptoms of rabies is extremely unlikely to transmit rabies. In addition, the CDC has declared 'dog rabies' eradicated from the United States. In very rare instances, a dog could have rabies virus in it's saliva but these are cases mostly from Africa. Washing out the wound by itself decreases the chance of rabies by 90%. If in doubt, best to see an MD.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
No: The dog must have active rabies infection to pass it on. This is a rare event in this country due to dog vaccination and patrols getting rid of aggressive or suspicious dogs.

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Last updated Jun 5, 2015

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