Animal Bites

Animal Bite Information

All animal bites or scratches drawing blood must be reported to the Grand Traverse County Health Department regardless if the animal involved is vaccinated or not.

If you are involved in an animal bite or have obtained a scratch that has drawn blood you should seek medical attention. If you have questions or concerns about the exposure, contact the Communicable Disease department at 231-995-6125. 

If the animal is a wild animal or the owner of the animal involved is not known and the animal needs to be captured, call 911 and seek medical attention. 

All animals involved in a bite must be quarantined or tested by the Michigan Department of Community Health in Lansing Michigan.

For Physicians & Veterinarians

Health care providers are required by the State of Michigan to report communicable diseases, including rabies and other zoonotic diseases.

If you have a patient that has been bitten by an animal, please fill out this Animal Bite Report Form (PDF) and fax it back to the Grand Traverse County Health Department as soon as possible. Our public health system depends upon these reports of diseases to monitor the health of the community and to provide the basis for preventive action. Please visit our Communicable Disease page for additional information on the importance of reporting.
Rapid Bat
Although rabies is not wide spread throughout the State of Michigan at this time, the Michigan Department of Agriculture requires dog owners to vaccinate all dogs at 4 months of age and recommends that all pets and livestock be vaccinated to protect against the spread of rabies.

Please check out the Center for Disease Control's website for more information on rabies.