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Rabies

Rabies is caused by a virus that can be contracted by all mammals, including humans. Several thousand cases in wild animals and livestock are confirmed annually in the U.S. Wild animals most commonly infected in Ohio are raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. People and their pets are at risk to contract rabies from exposure through contact with wild animals.

Symptoms include:

  • Change in behavior
  • Frothing or slobbering from the mouth
  • Uncoordination
  • Spasms
  • Tremors
  • Paralysis
  • The best protection against rabies is prevention. Do not allow pets to roam free. All furred pets should be vaccinated. Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals as pets, and be cautious of stray dogs or cats.

If bitten:

  • Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and water.
  • Confine the animal where no one else can come in contact with it. Take care to prevent additional bites. If assistance is needed to capture a wild animal, contact a professional nuisance animal control company.
  • If the suspect animal must be killed, do not damage the head as rabies testing is done on the brain.
  • Do not delay seeking medical advice. Go to your family doctor or emergency room.
  • Call your county or city health department for advice, and information on testing the animal for rabies exposure.
  • When dealing with a dead animal, wear gloves or use a shovel if you need to move the animal. Follow the advice of the health department for handling the dead animal. Do not freeze it. Clean the area and tools with bleach and water.