When bitten by an animal, most people want to know if they need a rabies shot. The main wild animal carriers of rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes.
Pet dogs, cats and ferrets that have been vaccinated rarely have rabies; however, many stray animals have not been vaccinated. Rabies is quite rare, but it is fatal if not treated.
Bites that break the skin can cause bacterial infections. Cat and human bites are particularly prone to infection. You can get tetanus from a bite if your tetanus shots are not up to date.
Signs of Infection
- Increased pain, swelling, redness or tenderness
- Heat or red streaks extending from the bite.
- Discharge of pus
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher with no other cause.
- Vaccinate all pets against rabies
- Do not keep wild animals as pets
- Do not disturb animals while they are eating
- Do not approach or play with stray animals
- Do not touch wild animals
- Do not provoke animals
- Do not handle sick or injured animals
- Scrub the bite immediately with soap and water
- If you are bitten by a pet, find out whether or not the animal has been vaccinated for rabies
- If the pet's owner cannot be located, contact the health department
- A health pet that has bitten someone should be confined and observed for ten days by a veterinarian to see if it develops any symptoms of rabies