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Snake Bites in Pets

Although not all snakes are venomous, any snake bite can prove very dangerous to your pet. Learn more about recognizing, treating, and preventing snake bites from a Sugarland vet below.

Recognizing Snake Bites

A pet that’s been bitten by a snake will probably exhibit signs of pain, like barking, whining, meowing, or favoring a limb. A visible wound site may be present, and tissue may be dead around it. Bleeding, swelling, shortness of breath, and weakness could also occur.

What to Do

If you see or suspect that your cat or dog has been bitten by a snake, remain calm. You becoming upset and agitated will not help anything and will only make your pet more anxious himself. Keep your pet still and calm while you call your veterinarian. If your pet’s neck was bitten, remove the collar. If your pet’s neck swells up as a result of the bite, the collar could choke him.

Don’t waste time applying a cold pack, tourniquet, disinfectant, or trying to get rid of the venom by bleeding the wound or sucking out the poison. These methods will help little and only take your pet longer to get veterinary care. Call your veterinarian and rush your pet to the emergency hospital immediately.

Also keep yourself safe—don’t try to catch the snake for identification, or handle it even if it is dead.

Preventing Snake Bites

While a snake bite isn’t always 100 percent avoidable, you can do several things to minimize the likelihood of a snake encounter. Keep your yard and sidewalks clean and trimmed—clip grass and clear away undergrowth and thick shrubbery. Clear up any spilled bird food in your yard. This attracts rodents, which in turn attracts snakes. Snakes love to hang out in long grass, bushes, and rocky areas. Keep your pet clear of these areas and don’t let them near any structures in your yard or neighborhood that could be hiding places for snakes. It’s also very helpful to keep your pet on a leash and not let him get out of your sight.

Contact your Sugarland veterinary professional for more information and tips on preventing snakebite wounds.

 

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