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It is important to have a well-defined post-bite program in place to minimize the physical and emotional pain for dog bite victims. The Texas Health and Safety Code outlines this process for Fort Bend County.

Investigation
Any animal bite or incident must be thoroughly investigated and substantiated by an animal control officer.

Human Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in Texas:
The following guidelines can be used in determining whether PEP is appropriate in response to a potential exposure to rabies. An exposure is defined as 1) an animal bite which breaks the skin or 2) exposure of broken skin (bled or had serous drainage within the past 24 hours) or mucous membranes to saliva or cerebrospinal fluid.

Risk Category of Biting Animal Quarantine / Observation Laboratory Testing Result Human Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Low (mice, rats, squirrels, nutria, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, shrews, prairie dogs, beavers, gophers)

 

Not applicable Testing is not required unless the Local Rabies Control Authority or physician have cause to believe the animal is rabid Treatment or PEP is not required unless the Local Rabies Control Authority or physician have cause to believe the animal is rabid

High (bats 1, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks) or if the type of biting animal is unknown

 

Not applicable Positive or non-negative 2

Administer PEP (usually acceptable to wait up to 72 hours for test results before beginning PEP unless animal displayed signs compatible with rabies)

Dog, Cat, Ferret 3 Animal tested Positive

Administer PEP (usually acceptable to wait up to 72 hours for test results before beginning PEP unless animal displayed signs compatible with rabies)

Animal tested Negative

Treatment is not required

Quarantine for 10 days Not tested pending outcome of quarantine

If animal shows signs compatible with rabies during 10-day quarantine, animal should be immediately euthanized and tested. PEP should begin immediately without waiting for test results. Discontinue if test results are negative.

All other warm-blooded animals

Animal tested Positive Administer PEP
Animal tested Negative

PEP not administered

Animal tested Non-negative 2

Consult public health professional

30-day observation 4 Not tested

Consult public health professional

Animal not available Animal not available

Consult public health professional

 

  1. In incidents involving bats, PEP may be appropriate even in the absence of demonstrable bite, scratch, or mucous membrane exposure in situations in which there is reasonable probability that such exposure may have occurred (e.g. sleeping individual wakes to find a bat in the room, adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, mentally challenged person, intoxicated individual, etc).
  2. Non-negative includes all specimens not suitable for testing (destroyed, decomposed, etc).
  3. The decision whether a dog, cat, or ferret should be euthanized and tested or quarantined rests with the Local Rabies Control Authority.
  4. The Local Rabies Control Authority may authorize a 30-day observation period in lieu of testing.

Animal Services DogsAdapted from Texas Department of Health Zoonosis Control Division Guidelines

  • Post-bite Animal Quarantine
    • Current rabies vaccination status
      • Veterinarian examination
      • If healthy, a 10 day quarantine period is necessary
      • Post quarantine veterinarian examination

Unknown rabies vaccination status

  • Considered a rabies suspect
  • Contact is limited to those with current rabies prophylaxis status
  • Veterinarian exams at the beginning and end of the 10 day quarantine period

Signs of illness compatible with rabies

  • Immediate humane euthanasia and samples submitted for rabies testing

Veterinarian examination If healthy, a 10 day quarantine period is necessary Post quarantine veterinarian examination Considered a rabies suspect Contact is limited to those with current rabies prophylaxis status Veterinarian exams at the beginning and end of the 10 day quarantine period Immediate humane euthanasia and samples submitted for rabies testing.

 

 

 

 

Last updated: 10/31/2014 3:54:15 PM