Determination of Rabies Vaccination Status of Animals

VTH Policy # Rabies10102

Implementation Date: 11/01/2022

Date of Last Revision: 11/29/2022

Next Review Due: 11/28/2025


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 11/1/2022

Reviewed and Approved by VTH Board / Hospital Director: 9/9/2022


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 9/28/2022

Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Environmental Health and Safety Committee without approval.


Owned animals that are presented for care through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) should have appropriate rabies vaccination status for that species. 

Owned animals that are not vaccinated against rabies, have unverifiable vaccination status, or that have received a rabies vaccination off-label for that species will be considered unvaccinated against rabies if they are involved in a bite or other contact that constitutes potential rabies exposure.

Owned animals that have an expired vaccination status are considered to be vaccinated, if the owner can prove the animal has been previously vaccinated.

Unowned animals, including feral animals and wildlife, will be considered unvaccinated against rabies if they are involved in a bite or other contact that constitutes potential rabies exposure.


Animals should be current on rabies vaccination, as appropriate for the species/age of the animal, prior to being presented to the VTH for non-primary care appointments. 

Clients with unvaccinated animals for which rabies vaccination is recommended or required per state guidelines, should be encouraged to see their primary care veterinarian for rabies vaccination of their pet.

Clients may be referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Primary Care service if they do not presently have a primary care veterinarian.

Unless otherwise indicated in the medical record, livestock will be considered unvaccinated against rabies.

Unless otherwise indicated by the presence of a rabies tag, or subsequent owner documentation, stray animals will be considered unvaccinated against rabies.

Except domestic ferrets, zoological species will be considered unvaccinated against rabies regardless of ownership status.

Unvaccinated animals may receive VTH services but will be managed in accordance with procedures outlined for unvaccinated animals in the event of a potential rabies concern.

Procedure (if applicable)

Vaccination information will be entered or updated in the health information system by the clinician or student during the patient’s office visit. If there is a primary veterinarian, then VTH staff will need to contact them to find out vaccination status. (Champaign County Animal Control needs this information)

Owners of unvaccinated patients will be encouraged to consult with their primary care veterinarian about rabies vaccination of their animal.

Definitions (if applicable)

Rabies vaccination – having received an approved vaccine that provides protection against the rabies virus for the species vaccinated in a period described as appropriate per vaccine labeling.

Unvaccinated – having one or more of the following conditions: no rabies vaccination, extra-label rabies vaccination in an unapproved species, no proof of rabies vaccination.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.

Keywordsrabies, bite, scratch, injury, sustain, pierce, skin, broke, seized, wound, nip, grip, cut, risk, species, mucous membrane, personnel, staff, public, student, form, exposure, vaccine, vaccinated, test, suspect, vaccination, report, expose, supervisor, animal control, county, champaign, status, management, veterinarian, agency, clinician, owned, Unowned, expired, prove, proof   Doc ID124385
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-27 13:09 CDTUpdated2023-02-27 13:42 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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