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Dog Bite from cute dog

Animal Bites, Scratches, and Rabies

All animal bites /scratches should be reported to the Environmental Office at 859-873-4541. Any biting animal that can be located will be quarantined at the owner’s expense for not less than 10 days and possibly as long as six months if the animal has not had proper rabies shots.

What should I do if bitten by a domestic animal?

First, the wound should be cleaned and disinfected or medical help should be sought if the bite is severe. Secondly, confine the animal if possible then notify the health department so we can start the quarantine process.

What happens if I am bitten by a wild animal or the animal cannot be found?


If it is a domestic animal, the health department and Animal Control will do everything possible to locate the animal. If the animal is not found within a few days, your physician may want you to undergo anti-rabies treatment. This is a call your doctor must make. Treatment for a wild animal bite is the same.

Why are some animals quarantined for 10 days and others for 6 months?

In order for an animal to transmit rabies, the virus must be present in the saliva of the animal. If that is the case, the animal will die of rabies within 10 days, usually 7 or less. If the animal is still alive after 10 days, it did not have rabies in a transmissible state. Animals bitten by another animal may not develop rabies for up to 180 days, hence the 6 month quarantine.

What animals in KY are mainly infected with rabies virus?


Skunks, bats, horses, cattle, dogs and cats.
Rarely Infected: Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice and small caged animals (gerbils, hampsters, etc.)

Where can I get more information?

Call the health department (859-873-4541) or contact your veterinarian.   Additional resources are below:

Kentucky Department of Public Health Rabies Program

CDC Rabies Information

Kentucky Animal Welfare

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