Dogs and cats are adventurous creatures, and at this time of year, they can occasionally be found harassing a snake. Snakes are common in rural areas but they are increasingly popping up in more urban areas, so it’s important to know the symptoms of snake bite and what to do if your pet is bitten.
Different species of snakes possess different types of venom, and your pet may show clinical signs anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours after a bite. Even if you only suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake you should bring them in to Pet Doctors ASAP. It is better that your pet is checked over rather than wait and be sorry.
The early signs of snake bite include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Hind limb weakness
- Rapid breathing
How can you help your pet survive a snake bite?
- Seek veterinary attention immediately
- Keep your pet as STILL AS POSSIBLE – this is critical to help reduce movement of the venom around the body
DO NOT try treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound and trying to suck out venom in place of getting your pet to the vet – they are a waste of VERY precious time. NEVER attempt to kill, handle or capture the snake as you risk being bitten too. Providing a description of a snake, or a photo of the snake can be helpful but only if it is safe to do so.
Always be vigilant and supervise your pet when they are off leash. Keep them inside from dusk (snakes like to hunt at night) and take care in off leash areas and around rivers and dams and long grass. This is especially important if you are heading to areas over Summer with your pet that you are not familiar with such as camping trips or farm visits.
If you are ever concerned about your pet you should call Pet Doctors on 5576 0400 for advice.