Rabies is a viral disease that most often spreads through the bite of a rabid mammal. The most common sources of rabies in Idaho are bats, but skunks, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, and dogs are also known sources of rabies.

When a case of rabies is suspected, the role of Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) is to send the potentially infected animals to Idaho Bureau of Laboratories for testing. This often occurs after a person or pet has been bitten by an animal that showed unusual or aggressive behavior.

If you need to bring in an animal to SIPH for testing, please use the following guidelines:
  • Animals submitted for testing must be deceased. If they are not, please contact local animal control or a veterinarian to humanely euthanize the animal.
  • Any animal submissions must be triple-bagged when they are brought to SIPH. Ziploc style bags are acceptable.
  • Animals should be kept cold but not frozen.
  • Please only submit the head of an animal for rabies testing. The only exception is a bat, which can be submitted whole. For all other animals, a veterinarian can assist with removal of the head.
  • Please provide us with the following information:
    • Who or what was exposed to the animal
    • Date of potential exposure
    • Rabies vaccination history for any animals exposed
    • Name, address, and phone number of person submitting the animal for testing

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