An Overview

It is with a great deal of pleasure that we are able to bring to concerned individuals a guidebook to deal with handling people, animals and specimens with regards to animal bites and the risk of rabies. These situations bring up many questions and it is hoped that this book will provide answers for handling those involved. With the outbreak of rabies in raccoons in the East, skunks in the West and coyotes, dogs and foxes of Texas, Indiana can potentially become part of one of these epidemics. With the proper preparation and public education, it is hoped that the impact of such an epidemic will be less severe.

The Companion Animal Committee is composed of members of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA), Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Indiana Association of Animal Control Personnel (IAACP), and Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine (PUSVM)/Cooperative Extension. Through the efforts of these people and using guidelines published by other state involved in the outbreaks, it is hoped that this will remain an important item on your bookshelf which will be updated periodically as information and situations change. The book itself is in a three ring binder so pages can be added and removed easily.

The following outlines each section:

Section 1: Introduction - This includes an explanation for the manual and a simple diagram that explains how rabies is transmitted and spread through wildlife to other species.

Section 2: Telephone List - Here are important phone numbers regarding animal bite situations and sources of information. Notice there are blank lines to fill in local phone numbers of local agencies that handle many of these situations. Please put the appropriate numbers in these blanks for easy reference.

Section 3: Animal to Human Bite Procedures - This section explains about the handling of these situations and a little about the rabies virus and disease transmission. The last sheet is a flow chart to follow for identification of specific procedures to follow in various situations.

Section 4: Animal to Animal Bite Procedures - This section has a flow chart to handle both vaccinated and unvaccinated animals with regards to bite situations. Guidelines for quarantine at various levels and descriptions of facilities to be used at home are included.

Section 5: Submission of Samples - This section includes instructions for sending in head and brain samples as well as the ISDH submission form, which can be copied and used for each sample submitted.

Section 6: Maps and Directions to Laboratories - Included in this section is the map to the Rabies Laboratory at ISDH. Directions to the Diagnostic Laboratories at Purdue and in Southern Indiana are also here. They can submit the appropriate sample from animals being examined for other reasons or help remove a brain for tissue sampling.

Section 7: This section is vacant for a reason - In the face of an outbreak or epidemic, it will be necessary to institute special guidelines for emergency situations. Each book holder will be sent these new rules at the appropriate time to put in this section.

Section 8: Appendix - This contains the Indiana Administrative Code regarding the vaccination of animals and rabies control (BOAH), and the reporting and investigating of animal bites to humans (ISDH). The Compendium on Animal Rabies Control, which is incorporated as part of Indiana law, is included and will be updated every year. Finally, the most recent immunization practices recommended by the CDC are also included. This document is only revised when significant changes are made in this policy. There is one addendum regarding bat rabies that is included at the end.

It is hoped that this book will serve as an excellent reference for all recipients and that local ordinances can be included as well as other forms in the side pockets and back of the book. Please feel free to direct any suggestions to any member of the committee and make sure you return the receipt form so that future updates are directed to the appropriate person. Thank you for your time and attention.

The Companion Animal Committee of the Board of Animal Health

Dr. Maxine Ray, Chairperson
Lt. Spencer Moore, IAACP
Dr. Alan Beck, Purdue SVM
Dr. Sandra K.L. Norman, BOAH
Ms. Belinda Lewis, IAACP
Dr. Gary Patronek, Tufts University
Dr. Carol Ecker, IVMA
Dr. John Scamahorn, IVMA
Dr. Larry Glickman, Purdue SVM
Mr. Tom Prendergast, Marion Cty DOH
Dr. Sebastian Heath, Purdue SVM
Dr. Leonardo Siger, Purdue SVM
Dr. Norman Long, State Youth 4-H
Dr. Robert Teclaw, ISDH
Dr. Lawrence McAfee, BOAH
Dr. Leon Thacker, Purdue SVM/ADDL
Dr. Bret Marsh, State Veterinarian
Dr. Randy White, Purdue SVM/ADDL