Animal Bites

What if I have been bitten by an animal?

If you have been bitten by an animal and the skin is broken, it may require a quarantine of that animal. Dogs and cats are subject to quarantine, even if they are current on their rabies vaccination. Not all animals need to be quarantined. According to the Orange County Health Department mice, rats, gophers, squirrels, chipmunks, guinea pigs, rabbits and other such rodents are among those animals not required to be quarantined. Notify Animal Control as soon as possible so we may arrange for quarantine, if needed. Quarantine is usually 10 days for dogs and cats, 14 days for other animals, and is usually accomplished by restricting the animal to its home. In some cases the quarantine may be served at the Animal Shelter or another boarding facility that is approved by the Animal Control Officer and/or the Orange County Health Department. All bite incidents need to be reported to Animal Control. If bites are not reported the important precaution of quarantine cannot be implemented. Also, if the animal has a history of biting nothing can be done under the law if the bite incidents are never reported. In the case of bites by wildlife it is very important that Animal Control be called immediately so they can attempt to capture the biting animal. If the wild animal can be captured it can then be tested for rabies. The Orange County Health Department will make the determination on weather or not rabies treatment will be required.

Types of quarantines:

  • Animal vs. Human: When any warm-blooded animal breaks the skin of a human with its teeth, the human may be exposed to rabies.

  • Pet vs. Wildlife: When a pet dog/cat has come in physical contact with a wild mammal. E.g. skunk, bat, raccoon, etc.

  • Government: When an animal comes into the United States from another country.

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