Animal bites are common. Pets, especially dogs, account for about 85 to 90% of bites. Possible exposure is more frequent in private homes than in public places. All bites pose a potential risk of rabies virus transmission. The degree of risk varies on the species of the animal, the site of the bite and the depth of the wound.

Rabies can be transmitted to humans.   Transmission is through bites or if fresh wounds or the mucous membranes of the eyes nose or mouth are exposed to  the saliva of an infected animal. Rabies is a deadly disease and there is no treatment. However, rapid administration of a vaccine can help prevent the disease.

In Quebec, raccoons, bats and foxes can be infected with the rabies virus. Other animals can also get rabies if they are scratched by an infected animal or come in contact with its saliva. Individuals should always apply safety guidelines to unknown animals (wild or domestic).


  • Never approach wild or unknown animals
  • Have pets (cats and dogs) vaccinated for rabies
  • Consult a veterinarian if pets have rabies-compatible symptoms, such as a change in behavior (unusual aggression, disorientation, depression or isolation) or paralysis.
  • Do not attempt to tame wild animals
  • Teach children safe behaviors around animals and ensure they follow them

What to do in the event of a bite

  • Wash the wound with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Quickly call Info-Santé at 8-1-1, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A nurse will tell you if you need to see a doctor.

Learn more about rabies

Visit the Rabies section of the Qué website.

Visitez la section Rage du site Qué