Posted on: 15 March 2017
Summer is almost over, which means very shortly Australia's snakes begin their hunt for somewhere to hide during winter hibernation. Each year, thousands of dogs accidentally get bitten by snakes that pets encounter while they are out and about playing in the grass. Long grass and piles of stored wood or rubbish piles are two places snakes love to hang out as the season changes. As a new dog owner, do you know the symptoms of a snake bite so you can take emergency action if needed? With snake bites being a potentially fatal injury, these are the main two points you need to know.
Symptoms of a Snake Bite
Each time you return from walking or playing with your dog outside during the autumn months, be alert for any changes in behaviour in your dog when you get home. Snake venom moves quickly within the circulation system of a dog, so you will see one or all of these symptoms appearing:
- twitching or uncontrolled shaking in their muscles
- inability to stand and continual collapsing
- continuous vomiting
- eye pupils which do not change size when a light is shined in them
When you see these symptoms, you must immediately be alerted to the fact you are facing a pet emergency, and your actions now are very important.
What to Do Next
When you suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, get your pet into the car and head for your closest vet. The venom from snake bites can cause paralysis, kidney failure and eventually death if the anti-venom is not delivered within hours of the snake bite.
If possible, get someone else to drive the car to the vet while you comfort your pet in the back seat. Keeping them calm and immobile slows the speed the venom moves through your pet's system. While you are in the car with them, look for signs of puncture wounds on the body of your buddy to confirm your suspicion a snake bite has occurred.
Once you arrive at the vet emergency office, show the puncture wounds if you have been able to locate them. If you have not, all you can do is hand your dog over to the care of the vet and know they are in good hands.
Anti-venom will not save 100% of the dogs it is administered to, but the sooner you get your dog to the vet after a snake bite has occurred, the higher the odds your dog will make a full recovery.Share