Snakebites

As the weather gets warmer it is nice to be able to get outdoors and be active; unfortunately the same holds true for snakes. Venom is a complex chemical soup that can result in rapid paralysis, muscle damage and ineffective blood clotting.

 

Several factors determine what sort of reaction your pet has to snake bite. The type of snake, the amount of venom injected and the site of the snake bite are all contributing factors. In the vast majority of bites, evidence of a bite wound is absent. Signs of envenomation are transient collapse, vomiting, salivation, lethargy, blood in urine and they can become wobbly. The onset of clinical signs can be transient and vary in length. Snake bites are largely diagnosed on the suspicion of the presence of signs suggestive of a bite. If showing clinical signs prompt treatment is needed. Generally, treatment outcome is significantly improved if the animal is hospitalised and anti-venom is administered before the clinical signs worsen. If you have found the dead snake, it is also helpful to bring it with you. This can help with snake identification and in the selection of the anti-venom required.

 

If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake, the Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital is the best place for them to be for at least a minimum of 24 hours.

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