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Rabies

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. In Harris County, bats and skunks account for the majority of rabies cases. These animals can easily infect our pet animal population or come into contact with people.

High risk carriers | Protect your pets | Rabies Vaccination Requirements | Rabies & Animal Bites  | Animal Rabies Data

High risk carriers of the rabies virus in Harris County, Texas are:

  • Bats
  • Skunks
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Raccoons

How to protect your pet from rabies

  • Maintain current rabies vaccinations on all dogs and cats three months of age and older. Check with your veterinarian.
  • Confine all pets or keep them on a leash. They will be less likely to come into contact with rabid wildlife.
  • Spay or Neuter your pets to prevent unwanted pets that may not get regular rabies vaccinations.

Rabies Vaccination Requirements for Cats & Dogs

An animal is considered currently vaccinated if it has either:

  1. been vaccinated for rabies within the last 12 months; or,
  2. received 2 rabies vaccinations within 12 months of each other and the latter of these 2 rabies vaccinations having been with a 3-year vaccine and 3 years have not passed from the date of the latter vaccination.

Legal Definition of Current Rabies Vaccination

Rabies Quarantine Requirements for Animal Bites

To control the spread of rabies, all incidents of an animal biting or scratching a human that cause the skin to bleed should be reported to local animal control.  Animal control is the authority to investigate a bite case report and determine/enforce if the animal must be observed in quarantine or euthanized for rabies testing.

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Last updated:  March 26, 2014 
Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services
2223 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Tel: (713) 439-6000
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