Report all animal bites
Report all animal bites by calling Public Health Madison & Dane County Animal Services Officers at 608-267-1989. If an Animal Services officer is not on duty, contact Madison Police dispatch at 608-255-2345.
Animal bites and bat exposures—if untreated–can lead to serious skin infections and rabies. If you are bitten, wash the area with soap and water apply pressure to stop bleeding, and an ice pack to help with swelling.
If the wound is minor and the animal has a current rabies vaccination, keep the wound clean and covered, and watch for signs of infection. Call UHS to speak with the nursing staff if you have concerns about the animal bite.
Animal bites can and should be reported to Public Health Madison & Dane County Animal Services Officers at 608.267.1989. If an Animal Services officer is not on duty, contact the Madison Police Department at 608.255.2345. Give the authorities information about where and when the bite occurred, the type of animal, if the animal was a stray, the animal’s behavior at the time of the attack, and personal tetanus and rabies vaccination history. If possible and safe to do so, the animal should be contained.
Bats pose a unique health risk due to high level of rabies within the bat population and cases of transmission of rabies when no bite or scratch wounds are visible. For these reasons, you may be exposed to rabies if:
- A person is bitten or scratched by a bat
- A sleeping individual wakes to find a bat in the same room
- A young child is found alone or unobserved in a room with a bat
Call UHS to speak with the nursing staff if you have bat exposure concerns. The bat should be collected and submitted to the Department of Public Health for testing, which may eliminate the need for immunizations.