What Happens if You are Bitten?
If you are bitten by a dog while out there are some things that you should do:
- Get the name and contact information about the owner – this is so Public Health can follow up with them
- Wash the area immediately and then head to get medical care. Doctors are legally required to report any incidence of a bite.
- You may report the bite to Public Health yourself by filling out the online form Bite Reporting Form.
Once Public Health has been notified, they contact the owner and deal with them directly. They will be following up with the owner’s vet clinic and making sure that the pet is appropriately up to date on its rabies vaccine. It is one of the only times that vet clinics are legally obligated to give out your history without consent, as it is a matter of grave health concern.
The animal has a 10-day quarantine period from the time Public Health initially assesses it until it is allowed out again into the general public. During this period, it must be kept away from people. In some cases, it may be a home quarantine and in others may be off-site (usually this is one that is going to end in euthanasia).
If there is no contact information for the owner of the dog, or there have been no vaccines, there are likely going to be injections and health protocols that must be followed to avoid you getting ill. There is no official protocol for bites from dog to dog, only if people are involved.
If you have been bitten by a wild animal, especially one that you are unable to catch afterwards, please contact medical personal and get any treatment they deem necessary. Rabies is a fatal neurological disease that is zoonotic (can cross-species) and needs to be immediately addressed.
Be careful and be safe, especially during the time we get to enjoy the outdoors.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 519.893.1360.
Written by: Lisa Clifford, RVT/Office Manager