Snakes are out and about!

As the weather starts to warm up, we are starting to see an increase in numbers of snake cases. One of the joys of the season is being outdoors with our pets in the warmer weather.  But while the inviting weather helps to lure us outside, it also presents some dangers. Snakes also become more active, and increased vigilance by owners is required in order to safeguard their pets, regardless of whether you live in the city and or in rural areas. It’s important that you can identify the signs of a snake bite and know what to do if you suspect your pet has been bitten. 

The symptoms of a snake bite depend on the snake species, and other factors such as the location of the bite and the amount of venom. The signs of snake bite usually appear half an hour to 24 hours after an animal is bitten. Dogs usually show signs quickly while cats can react much more slowly. A variety of effects can be experienced ranging from bleeding to neurological effects. In many cases, the animal collapses or vomits shortly after being bitten. It may appear that an animal that’s been bitten is starting to recover but then the signs get progressively worse. 

A common early sign of snake bite is dilated pupils and not responsive to light, followed by weakness in the hind legs which makes the animal stagger. Ultimately the weakness leads to paralysis and the animal won’t be able to stand, walk, or hold its head up.  Rapid and shallow breathing is followed by increasing difficulty breathing which often leads to coma and death if treatment isn’t given promptly.   

Other signs of snake bite include: 

  • Drooling 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Bleeding from wounds 
  • Shaking or twitching of the muscles 

Vomiting and loss of bowel control If you suspect that your pet has been bitten, get them to a vet as quickly as possible. The sooner they’re treated, the better their chances of survival.  Until you are able to get to a vet, keep your pet calm and cool and keep them as still as possible. Your pets should be carried whenever they need to be moved, such as to the car.