SUMMER has started to make its appearance and so have the snakes.
During this period of warmer days and cooler nights is when the snakes are at their most dangerous. Being cold blooded, they haven't yet warmed up enough to flee predators.
So when faced with a playful cat or a dog protecting its yard, the snakes only defence is to bite back.
It is impossible to snake proof our properties to protect our pets. Keeping our pets indoors and our grounds well maintained can help with the prevention of snake bites.
When walking your dog, ensure they are kept on a lead and don't allow them near long grass or bushy areas to help minimise the risk. But what if a bite does happen? What should you look out for?
In our dogs, the symptoms can show immediately or they can manifest over a couple of hours. Cats however, may show symptoms quickly, but can sometimes take up to a day to show signs of envenomation.
The signs of snake bite can include collapse, vomiting or excessive salivation, hind limb paralysis, weakness, lethargy, disorientation and sometimes, blood in their urine.
It is very rare to be able to locate a bite wound on your pet so please do not try to look for one. Getting them to the nearest vet for treatment is much more important.
What happens if you suspect a snake has bitten your pet? Try to stay calm. Your pet needs you and will probably be in shock. Call the vet and let them know you are on your way.
This gives our team time to prepare for your arrival so we can be ready to start treatment when you arrive. Treatment for a snake bite normally includes hospitalisation with intravenous fluids and snake anti venom.
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Your pet may need more that one vial of anti venom and may need oxygen therapy or extra medications. They may only need a night in hospital or it may be a few days of treatment.
All this depends on the severity of the bite they sustained and how their recover goes. Our team at the Leeton Veterinary Hospital wish you all a very safe and Happy Christmas and New Year. Our practice will be closed from the December 24 until December 28.
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