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What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by an Animal?

A "bite" occurs when the teeth or claws of an animal break your skin and bleeding occurs or if your mucus membranes come into contact with the saliva of an animal.

ALL ANIMAL TO HUMAN BITES MUST BE REPORTED TO ANIMAL CONTROL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. In the event of an animal bite, immediately cleanse the contact area with soap and running water. In addition to notifying Animal Control, call your doctor or emergency room.

If you are bitten by a dog, cat or ferret, the animal should be quarantined for ten (10) days. Studies have shown that if these animals were capable of transmitting the rabies virus at the time of a bite, it will show definite symptoms or be dead within this ten (10) day time frame.

A bite from a rabbit, squirrel, rat, chipmunk, mouse or opossum are not cause for concern, unless the bite was unprovoked.

Raccoons, skunks, foxes bats and coyotes are considered HIGH RISK animals for rabies. A scratch or bite from one of these animals IS cause for concern. There is no quarantine period for these animals. High risk animals should be euthanized and brain tissue submitted for testing as soon as possible to determine if rabies exposure has occurred. If the animal is not available for testing, the Georgia Rabies Control Manual states that the animal should be considered positive for rabies. In this case, you should follow the advice of your health care provider in regard to post exposure rabies treatment.


Report a Bite to Animal Control