Indiana state law requires that you have your pet (dog, cat, or ferret) vaccinated against rabies virus either every one or three years. This vaccination serves not only to prevent the spread of the rabies virus, but is the primary factor in determining the type of medical treatment bite victims receive and how state health regulators handle your pet after he or she has bitten a human or other domestic animal.
For these reasons, it is essential that this practice be able to document the rabies vaccination status of your pet. Acceptable documentation includes a rabies certificate, a valid rabies tag, or a letter, fax, or phone call from your veterinarian with the date of administration of the vaccine. Please provide that information upon arrival at the clinic so that it may be be included in your pet's medical record.
If you cannot substantiate the rabies vaccination status of your pet,we must consider him or her to be unvaccinated and the following public health regulations might apply:
- If your pet is unvaccinated, bites any person or animal, shows clinical signs consistent with rabies, but does not die (and is not euthanized), he or she must be strictly quarantined for ten days at a facility approved by the state at your expense.
- If your pet is unvaccinated, bites any person and dies (or is euthanized) within ten days of the bite, his or her head must be removed and sent to the state diagnostic laboratory for rabies testing.