How can I tell if an animal has rabies?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Rabid animals may act violent, sick, or simply odd. A warning sign could be a wild animal that doesn't fear people or a nocturnal animal, such as a bat or raccoon, that appears in the daytime.

However, an infected animal may be contagious for days before it shows any signs of rabies. If you have been bitten by an animal, seek medical advice immediately.

Animals with rabies may act strangely. For example, those that are usually active at night may be active in the daytime. A wild animal that usually tries to avoid people might not run from you. Rabid animals may drool, appear to be partially paralyzed, or act aggressively or strangely quiet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.