Lapeer County Health Department
1800 Imlay City Rd.
Lapeer MI 48446
Information on Animal Bites
There are two (2)concerns related to animal bites:
- First, animal bites can cause infections. It is very important that you clean the bitten area thoroughly as soon as possible. Keep an eye on the area to make sure it heals well. If it becomes red, swollen or warm to the touch, contact your physician immediately.
- The second concern is related to rabies transmission. Lapeer County has tested positive animals, including a horse, cow and bats over the past few years.
- The Rabies virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal. Humans can be exposed when they are bitten, or when the saliva of a rabid animal enters a cut or sore in the skin. It is not carried through the air.
- Animals that most often carry rabies include: bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes. Domestic animals such as horses, sheep, cows, cats and dogs can become infected through wild animals.
- Animals with rabies usually show unusual behaviors. The first symptoms of rabies are flu-like, including fever, headache and fatigue, and then progress to involve respiratory, gastrointestinal and/or central nervous systems. In the critical stage, signs of hyperactivity (furious rabies) or paralysis (dumb rabies) appear. In both furious and dumb rabies, some paralysis eventually progresses to complete paralysis, followed by coma and death in all cases, ususally due to breathing failure.
- The symptoms of furious rabies are probablly familiar to most people. About 40% of aminal with rabies have this type. The animal may become aggressive and attack for no reason. It may drool (or "foam at the mouth") and often shows fear of water due to paralysis of the throat.
- Dumb rabies may be more diffiicult to recognize since the animal may appear to be injured or sick. Wild animals with dumb rabies become slow to respond as their muscles become paralyzed, and may be seen in towns, standing in or beside roads and other places where wild animals are generally not present. Unfortunately people are sometimes exposed to rabies when they attempt to help these animals.
If you or someone else are bitten by a wild animal, or a domestic animal that could carry rabies, CALL Lapeer County ANIMAL CONTROL at 810-667-0236 immediately! Do not attempt to capture or kill the animal without advice from Animal Control.
Animals such as squirrels, mice, hamsters, rabbits, etc have not been shown to carry rabies. The Michigan Department of Community Health does not recommend testing for these animals.
To prevent animal bites, do not attempt to capture or help a wild animal that appears to be sick. Teach children to avoid strange animals.
Get rabies vaccine for dogs, cats and other high risk animals.
|Questions? Comments??|| Revised on: Mar 12 2010 9:37:00 AM || |