Bite Wounds and Your Pet

By July 19, 2012 Uncategorized

In the state of Massachusetts, any time your pet is bitten by another animal, there is a potential risk of rabies virus exposure.  It does not matter if the animal is wild or another dog or cat.

If you see your pet bitten by another dog or cat, try to identify the owner.  You want to see a written rabies certificate for the dog or cat that bit your pet.  If you cannot identify the owner or the owner is unwilling to cooperate, notify the animal control officer.  If you cannot prove the other animal is properly vaccinated and your pet is properly vaccinated for rabies, it is important that your pet is vaccinated again for rabies as soon as possible.

If your pet is outside unobserved and comes into the house with a cut or puncture wound, it is possible that your dog or cat was exposed to the rabies virus.  He or she should be examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible.  If there is evidence of a wound, by state law, your veterinarian will re-vaccinate the possibly exposed pet if he or she is up to date on the rabies vaccine.  If he or she is not up to date on rabies the pet will be placed in a 6 month quarantine.  During this time he or she will not be allowed outside, except for dogs to go to the bathroom, and must interact with as few people and other animals as possible.  Anytime you are not sure what happened when your pet was outside, call your veterinarian.



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