If My Dog Killed a Mouse, Does She Need to Get Any Shots?

by Valerie A. Modreski
Mouse. What mouse? I didn't see any mouse.

Mouse. What mouse? I didn't see any mouse.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

When your dog comes in contact with a mouse, live or deceased, it warrants a trip to her veterinarian. Dogs are susceptible to numerous diseases and harmful molecular matter when engaging wild mice, and it is essential you have her examined. The most immediate concern is whether she is up-to-date on her rabies shot and annual booster.

No Rabies for the Babies

Dogs can contract rabies from a mouse bite. If your dog played with any rodent, that animal might have bitten your dog. A bite from a mouse is not necessarily visible and sometimes is hidden around your dog's lips, nose or footpads, or concealed under her coat. If possible, safely contain the dead animal. Use gloves to protect your hands, find an impenetrable disposable enclosure and take the deceased mouse along to your vet. Your veterinarian will test it to determine whether the offending animal has rabies, perhaps negating a rabies treatment for your dog.

Keep Your Dog's World Mouse-Free

Whether your girl is a country dog or a city dweller, coming in contact with a rodent is possible. In the case of wildlife encounters, basic obedience training might save your dog. Teach your dog the command to "leave it." This phrase instructs your dog to drop whatever is in her mouth. "Leave it" also works to stop your dog from taking the mouse into her mouth. Do not leave food or garbage in a place accessible to rodents. Burying food stuff into a compost pile minimizes the chance of attracting mice. Secure your dog's containment area. If she's enclosed in an area you designed, you can control and extinguish errant rodents. Always supervise your dog when she is in an unfamiliar place.

Mouse Encounters Can Be Serious

A wild mouse can severely injure your dog, and a bite from one is sometimes lethal. Rat-bite fever is transmitted from a scratch or bite of a viral mouse, or contact with the mouse's carcass. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is carried from a house mouse (Mus musculus) and is spread to your dog through the rodent's urine and feces. Leptospirosis is a bacterial agent that spreads from mice to your dog through contact with her skin or mucous membranes. Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome is carried by mice and transferred through blood, urine or feces. This viral condition can transfer to humans, but that's rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just Say No to Fleas

Hunting is instinctual for dogs and is especially strong for pack leaders and dominant dogs, dogs bred for hunting and dogs with a high prey drive. No matter what your dog's heritage or personality, most canines cannot resist chasing mice. If your dog comes in contact with a wild mouse, it might leave her with a flea infestation. Ask your veterinarian for an ingestible flea infestation preventative or exterminator. Fleas from other animals carry bacteria, viruses and other blood-transferable diseases. To eliminate mice from your dog's homestead and play area, wild animal extractors and exterminators can be helpful.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Valerie A. Modreski has been a professional writer since 1982. She studied English literature at Broward College, and has written for a variety of publications. Modreski holds certifications in canine behavior and has worked extensively in the field of obedience. She also has hands-on experience in all issues related to canine welfare, including veterinary medicine, rescue and activism.

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