Autumn has arrived in Australia, and as the temperature starts to cool, pests and other native critters start looking for a place to hide out before winter arrives. This means that the snake population is on the move, looking for a place to brumate. It is not uncommon for a family pet like the dog to have an encounter with a snake, and if they do, would you recognise there is an issue and know to head to your closest veterinary hospital? These are the facts you need to know about dog encounters with snakes and what you must do.
Snake Bite Signs
Visible evidence of a snake bite is not always available, especially if your dog has long hair, so there are other symptoms you must recognise to determine that a snake bite has possibly taken place. These signs include the following:
- muscle tremors such as twitching or constant shaking
- unresponsive, dilated pupils
- sudden weakness or lethargy, such as the dog lying down and not wanting to get up
- blood in the urine stream
- frothing at the mouth
Any or all of these signs are an indicator that something serious has occurred and that you must immediately take your pet to the closest veterinary hospital.
When taking your dog to the vet, they must be transported carefully to slow the spread of snake venom through the body. If you can see evidence of a snake bite, apply a pressure bandage around the wound site to keep the venom in place. Do not apply the bandage tightly enough that it stops blood flow as this is dangerous for your pet.
Once the bandage is in place, carry your dog to the car; don't allow them to walk. Next, lay them on the back seat of your vehicle and have someone sit with the pet if possible. Their job is to soothe your dog and keep them lying down while you drive to the veterinary hospital.
The sooner you get your dog to the veterinary hospital, the more likely it is that they can be saved from death. The vet will check for evidence of a snake bite and apply an anti-venom once that evidence is found. A dog typically recovers within a couple of days if the anti-venom is administered quickly enough. If you suspect your dog may have had an encounter with a snake, use this information to help you get your dog the help they need.
To learn more, contact a veterinary hospital.