Snake bites in pets in Park Ridge, Jimboomba, Springfield and surrounding areas.

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As the weather warms up snakes become much more active. This is the time of year when we most frequently see dogs and cats getting bitten by snakes. Just as with people, prompt medical attention can be vital to saving your pets life.

The most common type of snakes we see in this region is the Eastern Brown snake and the Red Bellied Black snake. Don’t put yourself at risk by trying to kill the snake. If possible take a photo or if your pet has killed the snake bring it to the vet for identification.

The clinical signs of snakebite vary widely depending on the type of snake and the amount of venom injected. Dogs are often bitten on the jaw or face because they are sniffing through the undergrowth while cats are most likely to be bitten on the paw. There are many different types of toxins in the venom. The most important ones are those that affect the nervous system and the blood clotting factors.

Signs that a snake has bitten your pet can include drooling, trembling, vomiting, wobbliness followed by collapsing and dilated pupils. Worsening signs include increased breathing effort, dark brown urine and complete paralysis. Cats will often be found floppy and unable to stand. Death can occur within thirty minutes so prompt treatment is essential.

The most important first aid if you think that a snake has bitten your pet is to get the animal to a veterinary hospital. Keep the animal calm and quiet and if possible apply some pressure to the bite site although this is not always evident. Don’t wash the bite site or attempt to suck or cut the venom out.

Snake antivenom is the main treatment for snakebite and often animals need to be treated for four to five days until they have recovered. Sometimes a test to determine what type of snake has bitten your pet is useful in determining the best course of treatment. With prompt treatment survival rates for dog and cat snake bite patients is greater the 80%.

Snakebite prevention is very difficult. Long grass, piles of wood and other great hiding spots for snakes should be removed from your yard. Fox Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Cattle dogs and Jack Russell Terriers are some of the most common breeds of dog we treat for snakebite.

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