What are the signs of snake bite?

We are already hearing reports of snakes being seen in the South West, and with Summer just around the corner, it is important everyone knows what to do if their pet is bitten or found with a snake.

If you find your pet with a snake, take it straight to the vets (phone first to let them know you are on your way). Even if your pet looks fine, it may still have been bitten. Many dogs and cats will appear normal for even a few hours after envenomation, but may then collapse and die rapidly. You will rarely be able to find puncture wounds from a snake bite, so don’t waste time looking for them.

A common sign of snake bite, particularly in dogs is sudden collapse followed by an apparent recovery. If your dog does this, especially after being in the bush or an area where snakes may be, treat it as an early warning sign that your dog has been bitten and seek emergency treatment.

Cats may have an acute collapse similar to dogs or may appear weak and limp.

“Home remedies” such as Vitamin C do not work. Please don’t waste valuable time trying any treatments at home as you may lose the chance to save your pet.

Rapid treatment not only increases the chance of survival but also tends to lead to a faster recovery and less antivenom being used as it deactivates the venom before it has a chance to bind to the sites in the body where it causes damage.

Most pets will survive snake bites with rapid treatment. If you are concerned your pet may have been bitten, please phone your vet immediately and seek their advice.