Are domestic animals able to transmit rabies in a bite?

While you may never have to experience an animal bite, knowing what you could have to deal with if you do is something every person in Florida or anywhere in the world should know. If you’ve been attacked by another person’s pet previously, then you know that the medical care you need to receive can vary but is important to your health as you heal, especially due to the risk for rabies and other serious illnesses.

Did you know that cats, ferrets or dogs can all transmit rabies? Being attacked by a person’s pet may not seem dangerous, but this disease is fatal if not treated immediately and before symptoms appear. Something you should know is that if you can obtain the animal, it can be held and observed for 10 days. If it doesn’t develop symptoms, then you shouldn’t need to go through anti-rabies treatment.

If you have been attacked by a person’s unusual pet, for instance raccoons, skunks, foxes or bats, then you may want to consider vaccination. These animals can carry rabies without being ill in some cases, making it a higher probability that you could fall ill. Unless you’re able to get the animal tested and proven to be negative for rabies, treatment should be completed.

Are rabies probable for domestic pets? That depends on the area where you live, but cats and dogs can be infected by bats, raccoons and other wild animals. There are fewer cat vaccination laws, which is why it’s important to test all cats for rabies after a bite unless you know for certain that the animal has been vaccinated.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Domestic Animals,” accessed April. 16, 2015