Frequently Asked Questions - Animal Bites

Q:  What is rabies?
A:  It is a viral infection transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal.  The virus enters the central nervous system of the host.

Q:  Are animal bites reportable?
A:  Yes, by law all animal bites are to be reported to the local Heatlh Department as soon as possible after the incident occurs.

Q:  What is considered a bite?
A:  If there is a possibility that the saliva from the animal has entered the blood stream.

Q:  What happens to the animal after a bite incident?
A:  Only a dog, cat or ferret can be confined for 10 days from the date of the bite.  At the end of the quarantine period a visual health check is conducted to verify the health of the animal.  If the animal is showing any signs of illness, a veterinarian’s opinion is sought.  If the animal is healthy, the quarantine is lifted.

Q:  My animal has a current rabies vaccination, why do I have to quarantine for 10 days?
A:  By law, whether an animal has a current rabies vaccination or not, the animal is still required to be quarantined for 10 days.

Q:  What does quarantine mean?
A:  A quarantine means the animal cannot have any contact with another human or animal other than the caregiver.

Q:  What if a wild animal bites me?
A:  In the case of wild animal bites, the individual species is considered before deciding whether to euthanize the animal for rabies testing.