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What do I do if I’m bitten by a suspect animal?

Page last updated 10 July 2018

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal that may be rabid, post-bite treatment must be administered immediately. This is regardless of whether you have been vaccinated for not. 


  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap or detergent and water for a minimum of 15 minutes 
  • Contact your doctor as soon as possible, an additional vaccine will need to be administered. The number and type of vaccine administered will be different, depending on whether you were have received your pre-exposure vaccination.

For further information on rabies prevention, speak to your healthcare professional.

Sources & Citations

  1. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.16 Rabies and other lyssaviruses (including Australian bat lyssavirus). Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).
  2. World Health Organisation, Rabies Fact Sheet. Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).

SPANZ.RABIE.18.04.0156a - Date of preparation May 2018