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Animal Bites and Rabies

Lorain County Public Health (LCPH) protects the public from the threat of rabies through the investigation of animal bites and rabies exposures.

Rabies can spread to people and pets when saliva from a rabid animal enters the body through a bite or a scratch.

Rabies is preventable, and you help protect yourself and loved ones when you:

  • vaccinate your pets
  • avoid contact with wildlife and stray animals
  • report all animal bites and rabies exposure incidents to LCPH

I was bitten by an animal. I was scratched by an animal | My pet bit or scratched someone | My pet was in contact with a wild or stray animal
Protect kids from rabies: camping and summer camp

I was bit by an animal. I was scratched by an animal.

1. Read this list of animals known to carry rabies

Raccoon's may carry rabies

If animal is on the list, do 2 and 3:

2.  Consult your physician

  1. If the animal is a pet then quarantine can be an option in place of rabies vaccinations
  2. If the animal is a stray, wild, or if a pet is not up-to-date with the rabies vaccine then discuss with your provider about starting rabies vaccinations

3. Report incidence to LCPH

  1. After an initial visit with a physician, we provide follow-up rabies vaccination at no cost
  2. Include as much information about the owner as possible
  3. If stray or feral then indicate wild
  4. LCPH will follow up on the animal’s wellbeing for a prescribed quarantine period
    1. If this procedure can be followed, rabies vaccination may be avoided
    2. If the animal is wild and cannot be followed up on, consult with your physician to begin rabies vaccination

My pet bit or scratched someone.

  • LCPH’s role is to protect pets and people from rabies. We are not concerned with breeds of animals or numbers of bites.
  • Quarantine
    • LCPH will contact you to talk about what is next- quarantine of your pet
      • For dogs, cats, and ferrets the quarantine period is 10 days
      • This means that the animal has to be monitored when outside so that it does not run away or get in a fight with a sick animal (this does not mean that it has to be caged at an animal shelter or clinic)
    • Animals who were up-to-date with the rabies vaccine before the bite or scratch, they are done with quarantine when the time period is complete and if the animal is alive and well and is still current with its rabies vaccine
    • For animals who were NOT up-to-date with the rabies vaccine before the bite or scratch, they are done with quarantine when the time period is complete if the animal is alive and well then it will receive the vaccine from veterinarian and a vaccine record is sent to LCPH

My pet was in contact with a wild or stray animal.

  • Even if your pet does not appear to be severely injured or sick, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian for follow up advice. This is especially important if your pet is not current with its rabies vaccine

Protect kids from rabies: camping and summer camp

Kids can learn how to make smart choices to protect themselves from animals while still having tons of fun camping or at a summer camp.

Learn more about Rabies from the Ohio Department of Health or call LCPH at 440-322-6367 and ask for the Environmental Health division.