Rabies Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on February 08, 2022

Call 911 if:

  • The person is seriously injured in an animal attack.

1. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply sustained pressure for several minutes.

2. Clean Wound

  • Wash with clean water and gentle soap for 15 minutes.

3. Gather Information About Animal

  • Notify the local health department or animal control about the animal's possible whereabouts.
  • If the animal is a pet, get owner's contact information.

4. See a Healthcare Provider Immediately

  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear.
  • If possible, bring information about the animal.
  • If the person was in an enclosed area with a bat, see a healthcare provider whether or not there is a bite wound. The person may have been bitten and not know it.

5. Follow Up

  • If there is any risk of rabies infection, the healthcare provider will recommend anti-rabies treatment. This may include a series of shots.
  • The person may require a tetanus shot, depending on the date of the last shot.

Show Sources


CDC: "Rabies: What Care Will I Receive?"

CDC: "Rabies Exposure: When Should I Seek Medical Attention?" "Learn About Bats and Rabies," and "What Type of Exposure Occurred?"

World Health Organization: "Rabies." "First Aid: Cuts, Scrapes and Stitches."

KidsHealth: "Animal Bites."


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