Here Are the 5 Steps You Need to Take

Capture the Animal if You Can4

Do your best to capture or confine the animal, but only if you can do so safely—without coming in contact with its saliva or sustaining any additional wounds. Having the animal available for quarantine and testing will help determine if you’ve been exposed to the rabies virus.

If you cannot confine the animal, try to remember as many details as possible about it, such as size, color, or distinguishing markings. Make note of where it went after wounding you.

If you do manage to capture the animal, don’t touch or try to lift it. Call your local animal control authorities and have them collect it.

Wash the Wound

Wash the wound thoroughly for at least 15 minutes. Use soap and lots of water. Be careful not to cause additional damage to surrounding tissue. Treat the wound with a disinfectant such as ethanol or iodine.4

Have the Wound Treated and Protect Against Tetanus1,5

Your doctor will want to treat the wound. If it is deep, it may require attention to nerve or tendon damage. However, your physician should try to avoid sutures whenever possible. Then, depending on your vaccination history, you may also need treatment for tetanus.

Tetanus is treated with a tetanus vaccine series and tetanus immune globulin (TIG), like HyperTET® (tetanus immune globulin [human]), to provide rapid immune coverage along with an age-appropriate vaccine. 

Talk to Your Doctor About Postexposure Prophylaxis (Treatment to Protect Against Rabies Infection)2,4

Call your physician immediately. Share as many details as you can when explaining how you were bitten. This is an urgent medical situation. Follow your doctor’s advice.

Your doctor will most likely recommend postexposure prophylaxis measures. It’s the only FDA-approved treatment proven to prevent rabies.

Generally, you will be referred to a hospital emergency room, as most primary care doctors or urgent care facilities don’t stock the medicines needed for postexposure prophylaxis.

Call Your Health Department

Report your animal wound to the local health department. They can advise you on how to get prompt and appropriate care after being bitten.4

Profile image of a domestic dog baring its teeth

Being Bitten by a Domestic Animal

If you have been bitten by someone’s pet, it’s important to locate the owner and determine the animal’s vaccination status. If the animal is not up-to-date on its vaccinations, you should contact your local animal control authority. It may be necessary for the animal to be quarantined to determine its health status.6

Postexposure Prophylaxis Could Save Your Life. Find Out What It Is2

Failing to Get Proper Postexposure Prophylaxis After an Animal Wound Could Be Fatal2,3

Important Safety Information for HyperRAB® (rabies immune globulin [human])

Indication and Usage
HYPERRAB® (rabies immune globulin [human]) is indicated for postexposure prophylaxis, along with rabies vaccine, for all persons suspected of exposure to rabies.

Limitations of Use
Persons who have been previously immunized with rabies vaccine and have a confirmed adequate rabies antibody titer should receive only vaccine. For unvaccinated persons, the combination of HYPERRAB and vaccine is recommended for both bite and nonbite exposures regardless of the time interval between exposure and initiation of postexposure prophylaxis. Beyond 7 days (after the first vaccine dose), HYPERRAB is not indicated since an antibody response to vaccine is presumed to have occurred.

Important Safety Information

For infiltration and intramuscular use only.

Severe hypersensitivity reactions may occur with HYPERRAB. Patients with a history of prior systemic allergic reactions to human immunoglobulin preparations are at a greater risk of developing severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. Have epinephrine available for treatment of acute allergic symptoms, should they occur.

HYPERRAB is made from human blood and may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, eg, viruses, the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) agent, and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent.

The most common adverse reactions in >5% of subjects during clinical trials were injection-site pain, headache, injection-site nodule, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, nasal congestion, and oropharyngeal pain.

Do not administer repeated doses of HYPERRAB once vaccine treatment has been initiated as this could prevent the full expression of active immunity expected from the rabies vaccine.

Other antibodies in the HYPERRAB preparation may interfere with the response to live vaccines such as measles, mumps, polio, or rubella. Defer immunization with live vaccines for 4 months after HYPERRAB administration.

Please see full Prescribing Information for HYPERRAB.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088

Important Safety Information for HyperTET® (tetanus immune globulin [human])

HyperTET® (tetanus immune globulin [human]) is indicated for prophylaxis against tetanus following injury in patients whose immunization is incomplete or uncertain.

HyperTET should be given with caution to patients with a history of prior systemic allergic reactions following the administration of human immunoglobulin preparations.

In patients who have severe thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder that would contraindicate intramuscular injections, HyperTET should be given only if the expected benefits outweigh the risks.

Slight soreness at the site of injection and slight temperature elevation may be noted at times. Sensitization to repeated injections of human immunoglobulin is extremely rare. In the course of routine injections of large numbers of persons with immunoglobulin, there have been a few isolated occurrences of angioneurotic edema, nephrotic syndrome, and anaphylactic shock after injection. Administration of live virus vaccines (eg, MMR) should be deferred for approximately 3 months after tetanus immune globulin (human) administration.

HyperTET is made from human plasma. Products made from human plasma may contain infectious agents, such as viruses and theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent that can cause disease. There is also the possibility that unknown infectious agents may be present in such products.

Please see HyperTET full Prescribing Information for complete prescribing details.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


  1. Manning SE, Rupprecht CE, Fishbein D, et al. Human rabies prevention—United States, 2008: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2008;57(RR-3):1-28.
  2. Kaur M, Garg R, Singh S, Bhatnagar R. Rabies vaccines: where do we stand, where are we heading? Expert Rev Vaccines. 2015;14(3):369-381.
  3. Nigg AJ, Walker PL. Overview, prevention, and treatment of rabies. Pharmacotherapy. 2009;29(10):1182-1195.
  4. American Veterinary Medical Association. Rabies and your pet. Accessed March 20, 2022.
  5. HyperTET (tetanus immune globulin) Prescribing Information. Grifols.
  6. American Humane. Rabies facts & prevention tips. Updated August 25, 2016. Accessed March 13, 2022.