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Veterinarian Office Information

Environmental Health

Potential Rabies Exposure Guide

A rabies exposure is any bite, scratch, or other situation in which saliva, cerebral spinal fluid, tears, or nervous tissue from a suspect or known rabid animal enters an open wound or comes in contact with mucous membranes of another animal or person.

Animal Risk Assessment

Any animal, wild, domestic, caged, or feral, that shows signs of rabies typical to that species should be considered possibly rabid. View our Animal Risk Assessment page for guidance on assessing potentially rabid animals.

Animal on Animal Exposure Guidance

Domestic Animal bites Domestic Animal

Fax an Animal Bite Report to Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at (813) 635-7428

Wild Animal bites Domestic Animal

1.  Provide rabies booster immediately following exposure regardless of vaccination history.

2.  Fax an Animal Bite Report to Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Hillsborough County (813) 272-7242.

3.  The FDOH will follow-up and discuss 45/120 day quarantine procedures with the owner of the victim animal.


Animal on Human Exposure Guidance

When your facility has knowledge of an incident where a human has been exposed to a suspected or known rabid animal, it is required by Chapter 381, Florida Statutes & Chapter 64D-3, Florida Administrative Code that exposures are reported to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in your county.

Fax an Animal Bite Report to FDOH in Hillsborough County (813) 272-7242.

NOTE: A suspected rabid animal is any mammal capable of transmitting rabies regardless of risk category. An animal cannot be ruled out as suspect until a full rabies investigation and/or testing has been completed by the FDOH.

Animal Scratches
  1. Scratches from high risk animals are to be reported. (Raccoons, bats, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, and stray cats and dogs).
  2. Provoked scratches from healthy appearing dogs with a rabies vaccine history do not need to be reported.

The FDOH will follow up on all human exposures to determine whether the animal will be observed for 10 days or tested to determine post-exposure prophylaxis recommendation.

Rabies Testing

Animals that have exposed a person and cannot be monitored for 10 days (sick or injured) must be approved for testing by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in your county.

  1. Quarantine is the first recommended action.
  2. Complete an Animal Bite Report
    1. Fax one copy to the FDOH (813) 272-7242.
    2. Keep one copy with the specimen under refrigeration.
    3. Call the FDOH for testing approval: (813) 307-8059

NOTE: High risk vectors that have exposed a domestic pet may be approved for testing. Consult the FDOH in Hillsborough County. (If no exposure occurred and you still wish to submit an animal for rabies testing, contact the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory at (785) 532-4483)


Questions / Consultation

Call the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County

(813) 307-8059