What Do You Do If your Dog Is Bit By a Snake?

What Do You Do If your Dog Is Bit By a Snake?

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The effects of a snake bite can be extremely painful for both dogs and humans. It can also cause disfigurement. There are a number of reports of venomous snakes biting and subsequently killing a number of house hold animals every year. Snakebites are a part of life for a majority of pets which sub-urban areas. A majority of snake bites come from pit vipers. These kind of snakes can easily be identified by their distinctive triangular heads and retractable fangs. Rattlesnakes are also venomous and may bite dogs.https://pixabay.com/en/snake-terrarium-toxic-208585/Snake bites usually occur on the head or neck of the dog. If a snake bites the dog's trunk, then there is a greater chance of fatality. A snake bite affects one or multiple body systems, including nervous system, cardio pulomonary system or coagulation system. However, if the snake is not of a poisonous variety, then there will be minimal pain, bruising and swelling.

Toxic dose

This varies. There may not be always envenomation. The envenomation severity is linked to time of year and the quantity of venom present inside the snake. Other factors include the bite location, number of bites and the quantity of movement by the victim post bite. Greater movement increases spread of venom. The size of snake does not correlate to venom quantity. Kidney damage and other systemic signs will take anytime between 24 and 72 hours for mild envenomations to develop. It is therfore important to observe your pet for a number of days.

The signs

There could be one or multiple puncture wounds. There could also be bleeding, painful swelling, bleeding and bruising at the bite site. There could also be tissue necrosis. Severe systemic signs could take up a number of hours to make an appearance. There can also be shock and hypotension along with weakness and lethargy. There could also be muscle tremors, vomiting and nausea. There could be a number of neurological signs, which includes depressed respiration.

Action to be taken

The snake must be identified as fast as possible. The movement of your dog must be restricted. Immobilize its limb in functional position of the snake bite is on its extremity. There must not be any attempt made to aspirate this venom. Any tourniquet should not be applied sans veterinary assistance. Ice should also not be applied to that area. Take your pet to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.


Antihistamines should be administered as supportive treatment. The IV fluids must be given so that blood pressure does not fall. If needed, oxygen should be provided. Pain medication should be given as necessary. Blood transfusions could be needed if severe coagulapathies occur. Antivenin should be administered as specific treatment.

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