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First Aid & Emergencies

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Animal and Human Bites - Home Treatment

After the bite

Many states require that animal control authorities be notified of animal bites. Even if your state law does not require you to report animal bites, you may wish to call animal control to report the bite. They can help you determine whether the animal that bit you:

  • Has been properly vaccinated.
  • Needs to be observed for signs of illness. A healthy pet that has bitten someone should be confined and observed for 10 days to see whether it develops symptoms of rabies.
  • Is a rabies carrier in your area and whether you need to be vaccinated to prevent rabies.
  • Is a danger to others.

If you are unable to find a phone number for animal control in the front pages of the telephone book, contact the police or sheriff's office for the number.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Signs of infection develop.
  • Signs of loss of function develop.
  • Pain gets worse.
  • The wound does not heal.
  • Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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