What Happens if a Dog Licks Human Blood? The answer to what happens if a dog licks human blood depends on the source of the blood and how the dog acquired it. Human blood contains red blood cells and platelets, as well as white blood cells (leukocytes). All of these are necessary components in the human body but can be toxic to dogs if they eat enough of them or if they are consumed in large enough quantities.
Table of Contents
Is it OK for Dogs to Lick Human Blood?
Dogs can lick human blood, but it is not usually recommended. A dog’s saliva contains various bacteria that can be harmful to humans. In some cases, the licking could cause an infection and/or disease, such as Hepatitis or Rabies. It is best to call your doctor immediately if you believe you have been licked by a dog and have any open wounds.
They will likely tell you to come in for a quick checkup. If the doctor finds out that you do not have any injuries, they will likely recommend using antiseptic wipes on the skin where the dog licked before washing with soap and water, in order to cleanse away potential bacteria from being passed on from animal saliva onto human skin.
You should also see a dentist soon because dogs may carry rabies and other diseases which are transmittable to humans through their bite. It is better to get checked out than risk contracting a serious illness without knowing anything about it!
Read Also: Why Is a Female Dog Called a Bitch?
What Happens if a Dog Licks Human Blood?
When a dog licks human blood, it can become infected with the rabies virus, hepatitis A virus, and the bacteria Escherichia coli. Dogs are also at risk of getting tapeworms from ingesting blood. The only way to know for sure if your pet is carrying these diseases is to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up.
The best way to keep your pet safe is by not letting them lick open wounds on humans or other animals and practicing good hygiene in your home so that any food spills don’t attract stray dogs or coyotes. Keep fresh water out for them all day and make sure there’s enough space inside the house or yard.
If you’re going outside without your dog, lock it up inside or put it on a leash. Always wash their bowls after eating to prevent bacterial growth, as well as wash their toys and blankets frequently.
Can Dogs get HIV From Human Blood?
It’s possible for dogs to get HIV from human blood, but it’s not very common. Dogs are at risk of getting HIV or other diseases, like rabies, when they lick the blood of an infected human. The risk is slightly higher in countries where HIV is widespread.
HIV can’t be spread by casual contact with someone who has the virus. For example, you can’t catch HIV by sharing food and utensils with someone who has it. You also can’t catch it by sitting on a toilet seat that had just been used by someone with HIV.
Most people don’t have any symptoms until their immune system starts to deteriorate, which may take 10 years or more. However, some people will develop AIDS within 3-5 years after infection because they carry certain strains of HIV that progress rapidly. In these cases, AIDS might develop sooner than expected based on when the person was first exposed to HIV.
So if your dog licks your blood, there’s no need to worry unless he or she is licking the blood off an open cut. Even then, it’s still unlikely that he or she would get HIV because saliva isn’t as likely as bodily fluids (such as semen) to transmit the disease.
Signs of Infection in Dogs
Dogs can get infected by human blood by getting it in their mouth and/or nose. Signs of infection include fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If your dog has been licking blood or got into a fight with another animal that may have had contact with human blood, then it should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The vet will assess the severity of the situation and start treatment accordingly. Antibiotics are often needed to treat infections related to blood-borne diseases such as syphilis and Lyme disease. Other treatments may include intravenous fluids for dehydration and nutrition support if there is an issue with eating or drinking.
Your dog should remain at the veterinary hospital until all symptoms are gone, which could take up to a few weeks. It’s important to wash any clothing or items that came in contact with the blood right away. You may also want to call ahead before you bring your dog in so that staff can prepare for his arrival.
Treatment and Prevention
The best way to treat and prevent this is to clean the wound with soap and water. If you are unable to get the dog saliva off, place an ice pack on it for five minutes. The doctor may prescribe you antibiotics as well. To make sure the infection does not spread to other parts of your body, take amoxicillin or cephalexin. Clean any open wounds as soon as possible after exposure.
Also, cover the wound with a bandaid to protect it from further contact. It is important that you do not let the animal lick your injury again because they can pass on more bacteria through their saliva.
Make sure that you wash your hands and any objects that have come in contact with dog saliva afterward so that no bacteria will be passed onto anyone else who might touch them later on. If a wound becomes infected, seek medical attention immediately so that antibiotics can be prescribed by a physician.
How to Treat an Infected Dog
If you have been bitten, scratched or licked by a dog and are concerned about infection, call your doctor immediately. Let the doctor know that you have been in contact with animal saliva. You will likely be prescribed antibiotics to kill any bacteria that may have entered your skin.
If you are not prescribed antibiotics, ask for them. Antibiotics will not cure rabies, but they can treat other bacterial infections from animal bites. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on how long to take these medications as well as possible side effects.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms persist. For more information, please see our blog post: How Long do Dogs Carry Bacteria After Being Infected?
How to Prevent Dogs from Biting Humans
Dogs that have been vaccinated for rabies can’t transmit the virus to humans. However, any dog that has bitten someone needs to be quarantined and observed for 10 days. This is because some animals (including dogs) are silent carriers of rabies.
In addition, you should always wash your wound with soap and water and seek medical attention to make sure there isn’t any infection in the wound. If you notice any symptoms associated with rabies such as difficulty swallowing or problems walking, please go to an emergency room immediately.
The vet will do a few tests on the animal before they let it go home including checking its vaccination records and examining it for signs of disease. Dogs that have been vaccinated for rabies can’t transmit the virus to humans. However, any dog that has bitten someone needs to be quarantined and observed for 10 days.
This is because some animals (including dogs) are silent carriers of rabies.
In addition, you should always wash your wound with soap and water and seek medical attention to make sure there isn’t any infection in the wound.