HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF, MY FAMILY, AND MY PET(S)?
The best prevention is to reduce your risk and your animal's risk of coming in contact with an infected animal.
For your pet:
- Don't let your pets run free. Keep them indoors at night.
- Keep all your animals vaccinations current. Owners are required by law to vaccinate cats, dogs, and any animals that are exposed to the public such as sheep, cows, and horses at petting zoos and riding stables.
- Protect yards and gardens from small animals.
Remind children that you can't always tell if an animal is friendly or has rabies, so they should:
- Always ask permission before petting any dog or cat.
- Tell an adult right away if they ever see a lost, unknown, or injured animal.
- Never touch or play with ANY wild animal, even squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, rabbits, and bats.
- Tell an adult right away if they have ever touched or have been scratched or bitten by ANY animal.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I'M BITTEN BY AN ANIMAL?
All bites and scratches from a suspect animal must be reported. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound well with soap and water and contact your family physician immediately.
Either you, your doctor, or the hospital emergency department must report the incident to the local health unit. If you are reporting the incident to the health unit, include as much information as you can about the animal and if possible, the owner's name, address, and phone number. Public health inspectors will use this information to contact the owner, check rabies certificates, and decide what other actions are needed.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
For more information, call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday.
For more information on children and dog bite prevention, visit www.kidshealth.org.