Most animal bites in the United States are from dogs and cats:
Bites from wild animals and domestic animals (like horses, cows, and pigs) are rare. Bites from large animals can seriously hurt you. Bites from small animals can give you an infection.
Rabies Rabies Rabies is a deadly viral infection that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis) in people and in animals. The most common way to get rabies is to be bitten by an infected... read more is a deadly virus you can get from an animal bite. The animal has to have rabies before it can give you rabies. Not all animals can get rabies.
In the United States, pets are usually vaccinated against rabies, so rabies in pets is rare. Rabies is more likely in certain wild animals, such as bats, raccoons, skunks, or foxes. Rabies is usually not a concern with bites from rabbits, squirrels, hamsters, rats, and mice.
If you are bitten by an animal, you should call your doctor or go immediately to a hospital. The doctor will decide whether you need rabies shots.