About six days ago I found a stray dog dodging traffic on my street. I felt so bad for the little guy so I decided to keep him until I could find him a home. I have two houses on my property so he is staying in the yard of my front house. Two days ago I started feeling bad about him being up there by himself and decided to bring him to the back yard where my dogs are. My bigger dog tried to play with him but since he is so big he accidentally pummeled the little one and it resulted in a fight. Without thinking I grabbed my bigger dog before they got a chance to start biting each other. My foot grazed the little dogs leg and in a panic (probably thinking it was my big dog going in for the kill) he reached back and bit my finger.
I had to get the dogs separated before I could clean my finger up. The stray is some type of chihuahua terrier mix so it wasn't an awfully big bite but it did penetrate. The way I was going in to grab my bigger dog made my entire finger go into his mouth so he chomped down on it quite hard.
I'm completely in the dark about the vaccination status of the stray. He had no collar or identification when I found him. It is very evident from his behavior that he has been abused so I highly doubt that he has had his rabies vaccination. What worries me is that I live on the outskirts of town. We have coyotes, foxes, possums, and skunks in this area. I see all of them on a regular basis in the fields surrounding my house. I contacted an animal control officer and she had me put the dog on an at home quarantine. She assured me that if she thought there was any danger of me having rabies that she would have opted for euthanasia for testing. She also told me that they regularly perform random tests on the wildlife in my area and that there isn't any rabies outbreaks. I looked up the rabies reports and there haven't been any cases in the last two years.
I went to the emergency room and they cleaned my finger as well as prescribed me an antibiotic. I had my Tdap recently for other reasons so I didn't have to get poked with that thankfully. The only thing I worry about is that I told them numerous times that I was bitten by a stray dog and not once did they mention anything about rabies. They didn't ask about the status of the animal, whether it was being quarantined, nothing. I know most of you are thinking that the professionals should be trusted but this hospital is notorious for being negligent and incompetent. Not one review of this place has more than one star and the locals commonly refer to this rating as the "star of death". The only reason I went there is because I didn't have the time to drive three hours to the next hospital.
The dog seems fine. He doesn't eat a lot but I think that is because he is nervous and he is just a small dog. No strange behavior so far. I forgot to mention to the officer that he had a gash on one of his back legs when I found him. That is making me very paranoid. I'm also very paranoid about the hospital not offering me PEP or at the very least not asking more questions about the bite.
Another thing I am paranoid about is the time frame. I made the mistake of googling rabies and what bugs me is that the description always reads animals almost always die within the 10 day period. What if he starts exhibiting symptoms on day 11 or 14? I'd be screwed! If he doesn't die within 10 days but is exhibiting strange behavior and I don't notice because I'm not very familiar with this animal? Do they always die quickly or do they act weird for a couple of weeks. I've heard that there is a two week window for getting the post exposure treatment to prevent rabies. I'm insanely paranoid that this is going to be some type of rare occurrence and even though he won't show symptoms I'll end up catching rabies five months later.
I am going absolutely insane with anxiety and even though I think I sound mildly crazy while typing this my mind is still convinced that these thoughts are completely logical. I intended for this to be some type of question and I think it turned into a rant instead. Sorry.
Have any of you had a similar incident with rabies paranoia?