This page was reviewed or revised on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 10:05 AM
After someone is bitten or scratched by a dog or cat the animal is put under a minimum 10 day isolation period, where it is separated from other animals and humans. If the animal stays healthy during this period, it will not have had the rabies virus in its saliva at the time of the incident and the person exposed will not need further treatment.
Anyone bitten or scratched by an animal known or suspected to be rabid should be treated as soon as possible. The person may also require treatment if the animal's saliva may have contacted a rash, hangnail, or any other existing raw break in the skin.
For most people, vaccine inoculations have no unpleasant side effects. There may be slight discomfort - soreness, itching or inflammation. Some people react more severely to the vaccine, feeling weak or nauseous or developing headaches.
Many thousands of Ontarians have taken injection series over the past 25 years because of exposure to rabid animals and, in this period, there has not been a case of human rabies in the province.