What do I do if I am bitten by an animal?

Don't panic, but don’t ignore the bite, either. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water. Washing thoroughly will greatly lessen the chance of infection. Give first aid as you would for any wound. If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least identify it before it runs away. Don't try to pick the animal up. Call an animal control or law enforcement officer to come and get it.

If it’s a wild animal that must be killed, don’t damage the head. The brain will be needed to test for rabies. Don’t let anyone destroy wild animals at random just because there maybe a rabies outbreak in your area. Only a few wild animals will be carrying rabies.

It’s critically important that you notify your family doctor immediately after an animal bite. Your doctor can find out if the animal has been captured. If necessary, your doctor will give the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service. Your doctor will also treat you for other possible infections that could be caused from the bite. Report the bite to the Animal Control Bureau at 757-890-3621 and the local health department. In Williamsburg 757-253-4813 and all other areas on the Virginia lower Peninsula at 757-594-7340.

Show All Answers

1. What do I do if I find a dead animal?
2. What do I do if I am bitten by an animal?
3. What do I do it my pet bites someone?
4. What is rabies?
5. Can humans have rabies?
6. What can I do to help control rabies?
7. Where can I purchase a dog license?
8. What if I or someone I know are missing a pet?
9. What if I experience nuisance wildlife at my home or in my area?
10. Who is responsible for enforcing wildlife related laws?
11. Are cats required to be licensed?