- Investigations of animal bites
- Issue quarantine orders on biting animals
- Submission of samples for rabies testing
The Environmental Division of the Carroll County Health Department is responsible for investigating all reported animal bites that occur in Carroll County. Our division is also responsible for ensuring the proper quarantining of the biting animal.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm blooded animals, usually resulting in death. Humans has contract rabies by being bitten of by coming in contact with saliva of the infected host. The most common reservoirs of rabies are raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and some species of bats.
In some cases, the state of Ohio will allow submission of some animal species for rabies testing such as dogs, cats, bats, and raccoons. If you suspect an animal has rabies, the animal must be euthanized if not already deceased and the head will be sent in for testing. Testing can only be done on fresh specimens with the brain and head intact.
It is currently a state of Ohio law that all dogs, cats, and ferrets in the state have current rabies vaccinations. It is recommended that other animals, such as horses and any others with a rabies vaccine available, are kept current on their rabies vaccines as well.
What to Do If You Are Bitten
If you are bitten or the saliva of an animal is exposed to an open wound on you, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Determine if medical attention is needed. If so, the doctor will create an Animal Bite Report and send it to our office. The doctor will also determine if post-exposure prophylaxis. If not, contact our office with as much information about the animal and the animal's owner. If it is determined that the animal should be sent in for rabies testing, we will inform you of the results.
What to Do If My Pet Bites Someone
If your pet or animal bites someone, it is highly recommended that you quarantine that animal immediately. Quarantine simply means that the animal has no exposure to other animals and very little exposure to humans. Even if the animal is vaccinated, there is a possibility that the animal could have contracted rabies. Contact our office sot hat we can initiate the quarantine waiting period.
If the animal is vaccinated against rabies, it will be quarantined for 10 days and the animal's rabies vaccination record must be submitted to our office. If the animal is not vaccinated, it will be quarantined for 180 days. If the animal is vaccinated, you have the option to take the animal to a licensed veterinarian to have a wellness check completed. The animal will need a rabies vaccination booster with records being sent to our office. If the animal is not vaccinated, a wellness check and vaccination must be completed by a licensed veterinarian and the records must be sent to our office.
Once we receive the proper documentation, we will release the animal from quarantine. Under no circumstances does the Carroll County General Health District order the animal to be impounded or euthanized unless the animal poses a direct risk to the public health due to a rabies.
REMINDER: All dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of 6 months old in Carroll County MUST be vaccinated against rabies.