Frustrating day semi-caused by rabbit bite

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Morchall

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This is just a story about a frustrating day that I had which started with my rabbit biting me.
So, Gus bit me yesterday and broke the skin. He'd nipped me a few times before but never really broken the skin, and I realized I hadn't gotten a tetanus shot in a while, so I wanted to get one just in case.
I called urgent care and the doctor said "has he gotten his shots?" The vet never offered us booster shots, and I don't even think they're widely available here, so I said, "no he hasn't had shots."
"well you need to go to the ER and get a rabies shot. Rabies is DEADLY."
I was kind of just like, "for a bite from an indoor pet rabbit? He hasn't been outside in months." But she insisted and said they wouldn't see me there, I had to go to the ER and also get a rabies shot if I wanted a tetanus shot.
I am not very assertive and I was not aware you could just walk in and get a tetanus shot at a pharmacy, so I had my roommate take me to the ER. And of course people were packed like sardines in the waiting room. Couldn't sit down without brushing up against someone.
I told the lady at the counter, "hey I don't think I need to be here, here's my situation," and she said "Well, if you were my kid, I would want you to get a rabies shot, though. To be safe. You don't want to get rabies, it will mess you up for the rest of your life."
"I mean, I've never heard of a pet rabbit infecting a human with rabies."
"You don't want to be the first one, right?"
I just sighed and went over by the bathrooms to wait, the farthest I could be from the crowd. An hour passed. I heard some guy say, "I've been here 3 hours and haven't gotten into triage."
There was a screaming child that was hurting my ears so badly.
And then someone started coughing.
So I started panicking a bit. I was already feeling extremely claustrophobic.
I called the vet and they said "it's really unlikely your pet rabbit gave you rabies, but we can't tell you not to get a rabies shot."
I went up to the front desk and told the intake person I would rather take the nearly 0% chance of my indoor pet rabbit giving me rabies than being in this packed room with people who are coughing.
She insisted that I get a rabies shot but eventually caved and said I could ask triage team when there was an opening.
So I waited, it took a while because there were so many people.
I told them what happened and said I don't want to waste time or space when there were people in the ER that actually needed to be seen.
The one triage nurse looked at me, puzzled, and said, "who told you to come here?"
"urgent care"
"...for a bite from a PET rabbit??"
"Yeah, I don't know either."
They agreed I should probably get a tetanus shot but they seemed kind of baffled. I ended up leaving.
My phone was dying and I had to use the hospital phone to call my roommate to come get me, and since there was no room inside or outside the hospital to wait and no parking without paying for the parking garage, I ended up having to walk to meet him. And that was a whole thing that ended up giving me a lot of problems (including getting purposefully touched by some random "flirty" guy on the street without my consent. NOPE.)
After my roommate finally came to get me, I ended up just calling the nearest pharmacy with his phone to ask if I could just come get a tetanus shot and they let me. (My mom told me they could do that after I told her what was going on.)
I just think that entire situation was ridiculous.
Has anyone ever heard of an indoor pet rabbit giving a human rabies?
Especially one that exhibited no odd behavior, has never been outside without supervision, and has never been bitten by another animal (other than another indoor rabbit who has also never been bitten?)
 

JBun

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Rabbits don't get regular vaccinations like rabies. Reason is first, pet rabbits are highly unlikely to get exposed to rabies, especially indoor rabbits, and second, that it's not available for rabbits. There's only one approved vaccination for rabbits in the US, the RHVD vaccine, and only in states that have a current outbreak of the deadly virus(rabbit hemorrhagic virus). According to the cdc, a rabbit passing rabies to a person has never happened in the US, and rabies is almost never found to affect rabbits and small rodents.


So I don't know what that ER doc has been taught or is talking about. Obviously not well versed in rabbit bites. Rabbit bites, particularly from an indoor rabbit, aren't considered a rabies risk from what I've read. At least the ER nurse had some common sense. Not saying it's absolutely impossible to get rabies from a pet rabbit, just extremely rare, and even more unlikely from an indoor pet rabbit. I've never worried about tetanus either, and I've had a full latch on rabbit bite where she took a chunk out of my finger(who actually turned out to be one of my sweetest bunnies after that). But not to say it could never happen.

Does sound like a pretty crappy day. I'm sure you're glad it's over. Hard to believe that cute little face caused you so much trouble 😇
 

Morchall

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haha, thank you. I figured they were way overreacting!
The main reason I wanted to get a tetanus shot was just that I hadn't gotten one in a while and I read online it's probably best to do that if an animal bites you (just like how you should probably get one if you get scraped with metal, etc. though I'm assuming it's much less likely with rabbit bites!)
I wouldn't have even thought about it at all, except I seemed to be having some kind of reaction; the skin was all swollen around the bite mark, so I figured I would just get it to be safe. (ended up going down after some antibiotic ointment anyway though.)
Rabies though? Definitely not needed.
at least the pharmacist who gave me the shot was nice. I ended up also getting a flu shot, which I had been meaning to do anyway, so not a total waste!
and yes, he was kind of being a little stinker, but he is so cute and lovey that it's very hard to be upset about it, even after a bad day!
 

Dakota15

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I've been bitten as well and I've never gotten rabies, The family bunny we have bites a lot so I think I would have gotten it by now LMAO

He is adorable, he looks so sleepy in that picture 🥺
 
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