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What To Do If Your Pet Has Been Bitten By A Snake

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Each different species of snake venom can affect your pet’s body differently and you may not always physically see a snake bit wound on the body. Below are the signs to look out for if you suspect a snake bite:

  • General lethargy, sudden weakness, or collapse

  • Trembling, shaking, muscle tremors, unsteadiness

  • Excessive salivation, drooling or foaming of the mouth

  • Dilated pupils or reduced eye blink

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth or anus, blood in the urine

  • Vomiting

  • Paralysis

What should you do?

  • Familiarise yourself with the signs to recognise them.

  • Seek immediate veterinary assistance. Certain snake venom can activate the blood’s clotting factors, which send blood clots throughout the body, leading to restriction of blood flow to the brain and organs. Sometimes these clots dissolve, and the sudden collapse of your pet may subside. This is not an indication that your pet is okay – it is still important to rush to your nearest vet.

  • Take a photo of the snake if it is safe to do so – this will help us identify the species and may save crucial time for your pet.

What can we do?

When you reach our clinic with your pet, their treatment will be tailored according to their symptoms, and the information provided.

At Good Veterinary Surgery, we can:

  • Perform a clotting test – this is a blood test that we do to see whether the blood clots within a certain period of time. This will let us know if there are any clotting disorders present to aid us with the diagnosis of snakebite.

  • Administer anti-venom if we know what species of snake has bitten your pet.

  • Supportive care.

How to avoid snakes in your yard

Dogs can be asymptomatic up to 24 hours after a bite, so it is important to keep an eye on your pet when they are outside and avoid snakes coming into your yard:

  • Remove potential snake shelters like piles of rubbish and building materials

  • Keep your grass short

  • Create a clearing around the house

  • Plant native trees that attract snakes’ natural predators, like kookaburras

  • Eliminate rodents, snakes’ main food source

  • Remove any still water sources like ponds

If you have any questions or concerns relating to snakes and your pet, please do not hesitate to give the clinic a call on (07) 3288 1822.

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