Animal Bites

Health Care Providers are required to report all bites to Benton County Environmental Health Department. An Animal Bite Report form needs to be completed with all information possible, and then faxed to us within a 24-hour period at 541-766-6248.


Dog and Cat


Medical Recommendations:

Prompt cleaning of the wound is essential. Please consult with your healthcare provider for instructions. Watch the area of the bite for signs of infection. Consult your healthcare provider if swelling, redness, discharge or increased pain occurs.

Determine when your last tetanus/diphtheria (Td) shot was given. If it has been more than 5 years since your last dose, a Td shot is recommended. If you have not had a complete series (3 doses) in the past, contact your healthcare provider for additional medical follow-up. Td immunizations are available at the Health Department. There is a charge, but no one is denied service if unable to pay. Please call 541-766-6835 for an appointment or to speak with a nurse.

Any penetration of the skin by teeth constitutes a "bite" exposure. All bites, regardless of location, represent a potential risk of rabies transmission, whether the animal is wild or domestic.

The role of the Environmental Health Division staff and the Health Department Communicable Disease Nurse(s), is to evaluate the rabies vaccination status and history of domestic animals. In regards to wild or feral animals, the staff will counsel on the need for follow-up care. Please call 541-766-6841 to report an animal bite or talk with an Environmental Health Specialist.


In Oregon, it is required by law to review a quarantine process of any animal who bites. Environmental Health Division staff will oversee this process. It is recommended that bite victims notify their healthcare provider of the incident.



Although bats may be helpful to humans by consuming insect pests, some bats are infected with rabies and can transmit the disease to humans and other animals by biting, scratching, or through saliva contact with eyes, nose, mouth or an open wound.

Care should be taken to avoid all contact with bats, but if contact with a person or pet does occur (or you are not sure if contact occurred), call Benton County Environmental Health Division at 541-766-6841 for assistance. Please see additional bat information.