Dogs and Snake Bites

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As a pet owner, your furry friend’s safety is of high priority; hence it is vital to know what to do when it finds itself in a dangerous situation such as a snake bite. There are more than a million animal-bite related wounds reported in the United States every year. And cats and dogs are the primary victims in these cases.When it comes to first aid for your pet, the first rule is this: be prepared. As clichéd as it may sound, prevention is always better than cure. When talking about protection from potential snake bites, you need to be aware of the types of poisonous snakes that may be found in your particular neighborhood or in a place which you are about to visit with your pet dog. Next, you need to have the knowledge and mental strength to be prepared to act in case of a snake bite emergency. You can find fifteen rattlesnake species in the United States of America along with two types of coral snakes and two types of water moccasins.

What to do if your dog gets a snake bite

Here is a list of things you can do in the event that your dog gets bitten by a snake:

  • Try identifying the snake. You can do this by observing the size and color patterns of the snake. Check if it has a rattle at its tail end.
  • Examine your dog carefully to identify fang marks. Remember there could be multiple bite wounds.
  • In case your dog gets bitten on its leg, you could wrap up the wounded limb tightly using a constricting bandage at a height which is slightly above the wound. Make sure that the bandage is snug (not too tight). This is helpful in preventing the venom from spreading to other parts of the body too quickly.
  • Try and get to the closest pet care facility or hospital and try and keep your dog as calm as possible.
General Treatment

The veterinarian will first try and make the animal quiet while also attempting to immobilize the bitten area. He/she will clean the area surrounding the wound and clip it. Antihistamines might be administered along with IV fluids to prevent lowering of blood pressure. The doctor may also give oxygen support to the dog if needed. The prescription of antibiotics can help prevent the development of any secondary infections. Laboratory tests will be conducted for checking bleeding as well as organ damage.

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