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Understanding Rabies Risk from California Dog Bites

By Kelly Balamuth on December 29, 2011

When a dog bites you or someone you love, it’s a frightening experience. Over 1.4 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While dog bites rarely kill people, most people who are bitten do need medical attention. When a person is bitten, that person, his or her family, and medical staff all have one question on their minds: “Is it rabies?”

Oakland Dog Bite InjuryRabies cases from pet bites are rare, according to the California Department of Public Health, but they’re not unheard of. California law requires pet dogs to be vaccinated for rabies beginning at the age of four months, and a rabies vaccine is part of regular health care regimens for cats as well. Rabies is most likely to be transmitted by bats and skunks.

If you or someone you care for is bitten by a dog, cat, or wild animal, seek medical attention immediately. If possible without suffering further injuries, catch the animal that bit you and keep it safely in a cage so that it can be tested for rabies. Do not put yourself or another person in danger to catch the animal, however.

Even when rabies isn’t a concern, dog bites can cause serious injuries. Often, multiple treatments are required, and permanent scarring can result. If you or someone you love is injured by a dog or other pet, the experienced Northern California dog bite attorneys at Balamuth Harrington can help. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a bite, call us today at (888) 254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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Moraga, California 94556
Phone: (925) 254-1234
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