Rabies and Animal Bites

Healthcare providers are required to notify Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) of any animal bite or contact that could cause rabies. View the recommended management of patients with rabies exposure.

Report an exposure

From Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., please fax completed Rabies and Animal Exposure Incident Report form  to:

  • 519-271-2785 for Perth County residents
  • 1-844-935-1327 for Huron County residents

After hours, report the incident by calling:

  • Huron: 519-482-7077
  • Perth: 1-800-431-2054

Our staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive reports and respond to suspected rabies exposures.

Management of patients with rabies exposure

For individuals who were not previously immunized against rabies:

  • Physicians can request rabies post-exposure prophylaxis from HPPH
  • For immunocompetent patients, treatment involves administration of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period
  • For immunocompromised patients or those taking antimalarials, an additional fifth dose of vaccine is given and antibody titres should be determined 7 to 14 days after completing the series

For individuals previously immunized against rabies:

  • Administer two doses of rabies vaccine on day 0 and day 3
  • Do not administer immune globulin

Please remember to double check the guidance documents sent to you from HPPH along with your rabies vaccine and immune globulin. Alternatively, call the Health Unit before you start your patient on immune globulin and/or vaccine to confirm dosing amounts and to help avoid any errors.

Pre-exposure vaccine

We recommend pre-exposure rabies vaccination for people who will be:

  • Travelling to areas where rabies is common and there is little to no access to medical care
  • Working in a job that may expose them to rabies (e.g. veterinarians, animal control workers etc.)

People who require vaccine for travel purposes may book an appointment at one of the travel health clinics in London. Huron Perth Public Health does not provide pre-exposure vaccine for those working in high-risk professions.

Resources

For more information about treating patients with rabies, view: