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Snake Bite Pet Safety

Howling contest
Howling contest
Shellie Tull

If you hike with your dogs or even have a backyard, then your pets are at risk to get bit by a snake. Spring is almost upon us so it is important to know that most snake bites happen between March and October. A snake bite is always considered an emergency for your animal, especially if you do not know the species of the snake that did the biting. A bite from a venomous snake can be fatal if not treated right away.

Symptoms that your pet has acquired a snake bite can include swelling of the area, intense pain, bleeding, dead skin around the wound, weakness, shortness of breath and renal failure.

If you think there is a chance that your pet has been bitten, you need to stay calm and keep your pet calm. They will get upset and start to panic if they can sense that you are upset. If the bite occurred on or around their neck, you need to remove their collar before their neck starts to swell. Seek veterinary care immediately. If it is in the evening or on the weekend, there are 24 hour emergency centers. Do not think you can wait until the next day when your vet's office is open. You should never attempt home remedies like ice, alcohol or bleeding out the would as you could potentially just be wasting precious time.

Of course you cannot always avoid a snake bite from occurring but you can take a few precautions. Keep your yard clean. Piles of toys, tools and wood are perfect for a snake to hide under. Additionally, keep any walkways clear of branches, flowers or leaves and clean any spills of food that might attract rodents into your yard that would result in snake attraction. Finally, keep your dogs on a leash when walking and do not allow them to venture into tall grass or bushes.

A snake can strike an amazing distance, equivalent to about half the total length of their body so if you see a snake when you are out walking, do not think you are going to walk around it. Go back where you came from! It is helpful to educate yourself with what snakes are common around your neighborhood or area that you plan on traveling to so if a bite does occur and you see it, you may be able to identify it. Spring is coming soon and so are the snakes so be sure your animal is inspected and protected.