What You Should Know
- Exposure to an unknown domestic animal (cat, dog, ferret) or wild animal (raccoon, bat, fox, etc.) can carry a risk of rabies, a fatal disease caused by a virus.
- Exposure can occur from direct contact-a bite or scratch, or from indirect contact-usually through the animal's saliva, open wound or mucous membrane.
If a Human Has Been Exposed to a Wild or Domestic Animal, They Should:
- Immediately and thoroughly wash and flush the wound with soap and water for several minutes and get prompt medical attention.
- If the animal is a domestic-owned animal, get the owner's name, address, and telephone number.
- Report the incident immediately to the County Police Department at 301-333-4000 or to your local police department.
- If the animal is a wild or stray animal, try to trap the animal without risking any further exposure and contact the Animal Management Division 301-780-7200 to have the animal picked up.
- In some instances, rabies shots (post-exposure treatment) may be indicated.
If a Pet Has Been Exposed to a Wild or Domestic Animal, the Owner Should:
- Wear gloves before handling the pet to prevent indirect exposure to rabies and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Contact your veterinarian if the pet needs medical attention and alert them that your pet has had contact (bite, scratch, etc.) with another animal so they can take proper precautions
- Secure the pet away from other animals and people.
- If the other animal is wild or stray, try to trap the animal without risking any further exposure, and contact the Animal Management Division 301-780-7200 to have the animal picked up. Immediately report the incident to the Animal Management Division and the Health Department at 301-583-3750.