As stated in the title, why are dogs only vaccinated pre-exposure for rabies, while humans need follow-up treatment after being bitten, even with a pre-exposure vaccination?

What is causing the difference in approach? Does the dog vaccine work in a fundamentally different way, making them perfectly immune after the vaccine, or is this simply a matter of risk/reward? Would it be wise to give a dog a follow-up treatment if the odds of having been bitten by an animal with rabies were high? Similarly, would a human require a follow-up treatment after being bitten by a vaccinated dog that may have been bitten by an animal with rabies?

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    Dogs are also given post-exposure vaccines if they have an encounter with a suspected rabid animal.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 14:10
  • @CareyGregory so I can conclude even vaccinated dogs can get rabies and thus one should get a rabies vaccine after being bitten even by a dog that they are sure had rabies vaccination done? Since I live in Bali with lots of rabies and volunteered in a dog shelter this is a real issue. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 3:31
  • I think it's just an abundance of caution due to the fact that rabies is 99.99% fatal. Sometimes vaccines don't "take" as well as they should, or perhaps it was administered incorrectly or it was an expired dose. Any number of unlikely things can go wrong and when you're dealing with something that's virtually guaranteed to be fatal, you go ahead and make sure.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 4:13


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