Animal species vary in the likelihood of having and transmitting rabies. Some animals are low-risk for rabies. These include opossums, shrews, moles, squirrels, gophers, mice, rabbits, rats, and armadillos.
Some animal species in Texas are considered high risk for rabies transmission. These include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and skunks. When an exposure to a high- risk animal occurs, the animal must be submitted for rabies testing. By testing the animals brain tissue, the risk of rabies can be ruled in or out.
Domestic dogs and cats pose more of a rabies risk than the low-risk species. Even when vaccinated against rabies, dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be quarantined by Animal Services for 10 days (240 hours) to prove they did not transmit rabies to the human bite victim. Rabies is uncommon in domestic animals, so bites from dogs and cats do not often warrant immediate post-exposure vaccinations. Your physician will be able to coordinate with Animal Services and will determine if post exposure vaccines are required.