If your own dog, cat, ferret, or other animal bit, scratched or wounded someone:
- Confine the animal immediately.
- Apply first aid to the bite wound and seek medical treatment if needed.
- Call your veterinarian to check your animal's vaccination records. Tell your veterinarian about your animal's behavior. The veterinarian can examine your animal to make sure he is healthy and advise you on training courses and approaches that may prevent more bites.
If a stray or someone else's pet bit you and you don't know who owns the animal:
- Contact local animal control or law enforcement and tell them everything you can about the animal: the owner's name, if you know it; the color and size of the animal; where you encountered the animal; and if, where, and when you've seen it before. These details may help authorities locate the animal and find out if it has been vaccinated for rabies.
- Report the incident to DHEC staff.
- DHEC Rabies Prevention Program Staff will follow the guidance of the SC Rabies Control Act and NASPHV Compendium of Rabies to implement processes and procedures.
- See the flowchart: When a Pet or Livestock is Exposed to a Wild Animal Suspected of Rabies (pdf)
If a wild animal exposed you or your pet:
- Confine the animal immediately, if possible.
- Apply first aid and seek medical treatment for your or your pet's wound.
- The safest option would be to euthanize the animal (no head wounds) and contact a local veterinarian to assist in preparing the specimen for rabies testing.
- Contact DHEC offices during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday) or after-hours and on holidays at 1-888-847-0902 (option 2).
For Healthcare Providers
See guidance from DHEC and the CDC on evaluating animal exposures to help you make decisions about postexposure treatment.