Rabies Vaccinations

Rabies Pre-Exposure Vaccinations
If your occupation or hobby involves handling warm blooded animals or have frequent contact with potentially rabid animals or you will be spending time in a foreign country where rabies is common, you may want to consider getting this series of three shots for protection. These vaccinations offer protection and reduce the number of vaccinations if exposed to rabies. Contact the Health Department for an appointment at 301-583-3757.
Women Walking Her Dog
Rabies Post-Exposure Vaccinations
If you are bitten, scratched or exposed to an animal that can carry rabies and the dog/cat/ferret is not available for quarantine or testing or the wild animal is not available for testing, Rabies Post Exposure vaccine may be recommend. Contact your local Health Department to discuss. Rabies is a fatal disease. It is important that treatment is started prior to the onset of symptoms or death will result. For information on treatment see this DHMH Fact Sheet (PDF).

**For Medical Providers to report an animal exposure (Bite, Scratch, or other exposure), see Reportable Disease and Conditions and the Prince George's County Bite Report.

Exposure to Rabies Can Be Prevented
  • Do not approach, handle, or feed wild or stray animals.
  • Vaccinate all dogs, cats, and ferrets against rabies and keep the vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Do not leave pets outside unattended or allow them to roam free.
  • Feed pets indoors and tightly cover outdoor garbage cans.
  • Teach children never to approach wild animals or animals that they do not know.
  • Prevent bats from entering the home by using window screens and chimney caps and by closing any openings in your attic, basement, porch, or garage.
  • Wear gloves when handling a pet if it has been in a fight with another animal; isolate it from people and other animals.