Animal Bites and Rabies Prevention
Citrus County Health Department
We provide consultation and treatment for rabies prevention by working with Environmental Health staff and Citrus County Animal Control to monitor and investigate animal bite reports.
Rabies is a preventable disease that is fatal if left untreated. Treatment must be started before symptoms develop to be effective. The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal when the animal bites or scratches another person or animal. Animals that are infected with rabies may not show symptoms when the bite occurs, so it is extremely important that all animal bites are reported as soon as possible to initiate treatment.
Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the DOH-Citrus at 352-527-0068. Immediately scrub the wound with lots of soap and running water for five to ten minutes.
If a stray, wild or unvaccinated animal bites or scratches your pet, do not examine your pet for injuries without wearing gloves. Wash your pet with soap and water to remove saliva from the attacking animal and do not let your animal come into contact with other animals or people until the situation is handled. Seek veterinary assistance for your pet and immediately report it to Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Animal Control Unit at 352-726-1121.
Treatment for a possible rabies exposures includes wound care for the bite itself, a series of four arm injections of rabies vaccine and administering of human rabies antibodies.