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Policy#: 529-220

Title: SAFETY: Animal Bites - Treatment and Reporting

Effective: 4/8/2024


After receiving an animal wound, secure the animal (if safely possible) in its cage/holding area.

Initial treatment should be administered BEFORE reporting.
Animal Bites/Scratches – Treatment:

1. If the wound broke the skin and is bleeding: Wash the wound with soap and water until bleeding stops, and express the wound under water to remove any potential debris or contaminants.

2. After washing the wound, cover it with a sterile bandage. Seek medical attention if injury requires stitches or further medical treatment.

Animal Bites – Reporting:

3. Following wound cleaning, report all animal caused injuries that broke the skin to the EH&S (ext. 2-5528). For injuries that may need additional treatment, contact your personal physician.
    • the date
    • a description of the bite and its circumstances
    • the identification of the animal and its location
    • the treatment you received for the wound

It will be helpful if you know the date of your last tetanus vaccination or booster. Typically, healthcare professionals advise getting a tetanus booster following an animal bite if you haven't received a tetanus shot in the last ten years. To request a tetanus booster, please send your full name, birthdate, and approved animal use protocol (AUP) number to

4. Report the bite to your Principal Investigator or supervisor. 

Updated 12/9/04, 10/4/10 Revised 04/08/24