What do I do if I suspect an animal has rabies

[Title: Ask an Expert - What do I do if I suspect an animal has rabies?]

Anne: Welcome to the Ask an Expert video series.

Today’s question is, what to do if I suspect an animal has rabies?

My name is Anne McCarthy and I’m a Science Transfer Specialist with the Province of Ontario.

If you suspect an animal has rabies, then the main thing is to keep your distance and not to touch the animal.

You should never touch a wild animal, living or dead.

If a person has been exposed, meaning been bitten or scratched, they should call their doctor or local public health or go the emergency department.

If a domestic animal, meaning your pet or livestock, have had contact with a wild animal you should call your vet.

If you or anyone around you is in imminent risk form a wild animal, call police.

Now, if there is no risk of contact and the animal is alive, we recommend you call your local animal control.

If your municipality doesn’t have wildlife services you can call a private animal control company in your area.

If there was no contact and the animal is now dead, you can call us at the rabies information line.

We test dead wildlife that showed signs or symptoms of rabies from across the province.

We also offer advice on who to call, next steps and general rabies in wildlife information.

That phone number is 1-888-574-6656. We reply to calls during regular business hours and voicemails can be left after hours.

Learn more at: Ontario.ca/rabies.