Coming into spring and the warmer weather means people and their pets become more active. It also means that snakes start to become more active, coming out of their winter hibernation-they are out to get some food and some warmth from the sun.
At the vet clinic, this is when we start to see many dogs and cats brought in that have been bitten by a snake or their owner suspects they have been bitten by a snake. These cases are always an emergency and the whole vet clinic is on standby- waiting to get into action.
The main snakes we have in this area are Black snakes and Brown snakes and sometimes we will see Tiger snakes. They are all very dangerous snakes.
It is important to try to keep your pet away from the risk of a snake bite. This is by keeping them away from the long grass, away from the waters edge (creeks, rivers and lakes). Snakes tend to be most active in the mornings and afternoons, which is also when we like to walk our dogs so make sure to keep them on a lead and only walk on designated walking paths.
The signs to look out for if your pet has been bitten by a snake are: weakness to the back legs, vomiting, excess salivation and diarrhoea. Their pupils may look big and black. Your vet can confirm the snake bite via blood tests to check for clotting factors and changes in muscle enzymes.
It is important to bring your pet straight to the vet clinic if you suspect they have been bitten by a snake. It’s a good idea to call the clinic to let them know you are on the way so they can get everything prepared for your arrival.