Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


How do I get an animal tested for rabies?

The decision of whether or not to test an animal for rabies is made by state and local public health authorities after consideration of the circumstances surrounding exposure to a potentially rabid animal. If you are bitten by an animal or believe that you may have been exposed to rabies, contact your physician or Local Health Jurisdiction immediately. For rabies testing, the animal must be killed. However, the brain must be kept intact. The carcass must then be taken to the local Department of Health, where a brain-tissue sample can be taken and tested. For more information on rabies in Washington, see the Washington Department of Health's rabies website.

The head/brain should not be frozen, but should be kept cool until tested.

With the exception of bats, Washington has not had a wild animal test positive for rabies in over 40 years.

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Last Updated
3rd of February, 2016