Report an Animal Bite or Scratch

Reporting an Animal Bite or Scratch

If a person is bitten or scratched by an animal, the incident should be reported to Southwestern Public Health so that a public health inspector can do a follow-up investigation and ensure the victim was not exposed to rabies.

If someone is bitten or scratched:

  • Wash the affected skin area with soap and water
  • Contact your doctor or local health department
  • Complete the Possible Rabies Exposure Report Form and fax to Public Health at 519-539-5059 or report the incident at 1-800-922-0096

A Public Health Inspector will check vaccination status of the pet with the owner. Regardless of vaccination status, the pet will be monitored by the owner for 10 days to determine if the animal was rabid at the time of the incident.

Rabies shots may be arranged for the victim of the bite or scratch.

If a domestic animal is bitten or scratched by an animal, contact your local veterinarian.

Protecting Against Rabies

To keep your family and pets rabies free:

  • Make sure your pet vaccinations are up to date
  • Keep pets indoors at night
  • Teach children to stay away from wild animals and strange dogs and cats
  • Always ask permission from a pet owner before trying to pet an animal
  • Supervise children around animals
  • Do not attempt to touch or feed wild animals
  • Do not touch sick or dead animals
  • Do not approach animals behaving oddly or aggressively
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