Warning: the warmer months of the year are the times snakes are most active in your dog’s environment. Here’s how to reduce potential encounters between your pet and our native snakes.

How to protect your pets from snakes

In warmer months, snakes come out of brumation (the snake equivalent of hibernation). A snake bite and lack of treatment is one of the most common causes of death for pet dogs in a snake prone area. Depending on the snake, its venom can cause bleeding or paralysis in dogs, the results of which, if left untreated, can be fatal. As a dog owner it’s important to watch out for and avoid snakes, and in the event of a bite or other injury, seek emergency assistance from your local Greencross Vets immediately.

When a snake bites

If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake, immediately take them to to a vet that stocks both the snake detection kits and anti-venom. Here are some further tips to follow:

  • Bites are commonly inflicted on or around the face, head, neck, throat and front legs
  • If possible, take note of the colour and patterns on the snake
  • Do not ever attempt to catch a live snake
  • Snakes are protected and killing them is illegal

Snake bite symptoms in dogs

Snake bite signs and symptoms can occur very fast. Depending on the snake you may see the following snake bite symptoms in dogs:

  • Swelling around the area
  • Tenderness at the site of the potential bite
  • Sudden severe bleeding often into the area bitten
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Initial collapse
  • Salivation
  • Mydriasis (dilated pupils)
  • Trembling,
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Pacing around anxiously
  • Panting
  • Depression
  • Sudden death

For more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments of snake bites, contact your local Greencross Vets.