Animal Bites / Rabies

Any mammal can get rabies. People and animals who may have been exposed to rabies through a bite or non-bite contact with an animal should seek medical evaluation.

  1. Report Animal Bites to People
  2. Report Animal Bites to Domestic Animals
  3. Rabies Control & Prevention

If you are bitten by an animal:

  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water. 
  • Seek medical attention for the wound to help prevent and control infection such as tetanus as well as rabies. Local emergency departments, such as those at Inova Loudoun (Lansdowne/Cornwall/Ashburn) or Stone Springs hospitals, can provide care and possible post-exposure rabies vaccination to people with potential animal exposures. 

Most people know when they have been bitten by a bat, but there are situations in which you should seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. For example, if you wake up to find a bat in your room, see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, do not destroy or discard the bat. 

If your pet bites a person:

All domestic animals such as dogs, cats, and ferrets that have potentially exposed a person to rabies must be observed for 10 days following the exposure incident. The Loudoun County Health Department will work with the owner to ensure domestic animals are confined, ideally at the owner’s home, and observed for 10 days. If the domestic animal can be confined for the 10 day confinement, post-exposure rabies vaccination is not necessary. An animal that has died and potentially exposed a person or other pet, will be tested for rabies. See Owner 10-day Confinement Guidelines.