In a rabies endemic country like India where there is sustained dog-to-dog transmission, every warm blooded animal bite is suspected as a potentially rabid animal bite.
As rabies is practically 100% fatal, bites by dogs and cats in particularshould be treated immediately after exposureas a “Medical Emergency” and the “life-saving” post exposure prophylaxis must be provided immediately.
Observation of biting dog/cat:
The observation period of 10 days is valid for dogs and cats only. The natural history of rabies in mammals other than dogs and cats is not fully understood and therefore the 10-day observation period is not applicable.
The treatment may be modified if dog or cat involved remains healthy throughout the observation period of 10 days by converting post-exposure prophylaxis(0,3,7,14,28) to pre-exposure(0,7,28) vaccination by skipping the vaccine dose on day 14 and instead administering it on day 28.
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