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Snake Bite Symptoms in Dogs and Cats

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Armed with curiosity and natural hunting instincts it is not uncommon for our favourite four legged friends to cross paths with a snake. At this time of year, even city dogs and cats can have these encounters. You can never guarantee that your pets will be 100% safe from these slithering creatures. Overgrown backyards and even local parks (particularly those near bodies of water such as lakes and beaches) are common places snake bites occur. However, even cats that are confined indoors, with outdoor runs, have succumb to snake bites in the past.

 

What should you know about snake bites?

The signs of a snake bite are varied. They may show some or all of the following signs:

  • Sudden weakness followed by collapse.
  • Shaking or twitching of the muscles.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dilated pupils not responsive to light.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • In the later stages paralysis may occur.

 

First Aid:


If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake you should immobilise your pet and try to keep him/her as quiet as possible. It is vital that you take your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. The sooner your pet is treated, the better their chances of survival.

Do not put you or others at risk by attempting to identify the snake. Individual species of snake can vary in colour and pattern considerably and are all but impossible to definitively identify other than by experienced snake handlers.

Precautions:


Dogs are inquisitive by nature. When exercising them in bushland (particularly near water) or near beach dunes during the warmer months of the year, use a leash.

Cats are naturally born to hunt and stalk anything that moves. This unfortunately can lead to an unpleasant end, if he/she encounters a snake. If you live in the outer suburbs or semi-rural areas, keep your backyard clear of long grass, and remove any piles of rubbish. This will help to reduce the number of hiding spots for snakes to reside in.

 

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O’Halloran Hill Vet Centre

123 Main South Road
O’Halloran Hill, SA 5158

Hilton Vet Centre

142 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton, SA 5033