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Snake Season

With curiosity and natural hunting instincts it is not uncommon for our pets to cross paths with a snake. Here in the northern suburbs we have the Plenty and Yarra Rivers and access to many dams and parks with water. This may be where snakes have hibernated during colder weather and will now become active in Summer months.

Dogs and cats are most often bitten around the head or limbs. At the beginning of Summer snakes tend to be more venomous as their glands are fuller due to hibernation making their bites more severe. Common signs of snake bite may be sudden weakness followed by collapse, shaking or twitching, vomiting or dilated pupils.

The most deadly snake is the Fierce or Inland Taipan snake. The venom from one bite from this snake would be enough to kill 100 people, 250,000 mice or 12,000 guinea pigs. This breed is rare but found most commonly in Australia. The Australian Brown Snake is the second most deadly. 1/14,000 of an ounce of venom is enough to kill a person. The King Cobra, which is non-Australian, is the largest venomous snake at almost 6 metres in length. It’s venom is not the most powerful but it has the volume to kill a human within 15 minutes.

Other deadliest to be aware of in Australia is the Tiger Snake at number 5 and the Death Adder at number 10. Were you aware most of the deadliest snakes are found in Australia?

If you suspect your animal may have been bitten or in contact with a snake hesitation in treatment can be disastrous so always contact us or bring your animal in immediately. At Greensborough and Rosanna Veterinary Hospital we always carry antivenom for immediate treatment to increase the rate of survival.

What Should I Do if My Dog Is Bitten By a Snake?

Any snakebite is an emergency. Snakes that aren’t venomous can still inflict painful bites that result in infection. If a snakebite occurs–even if your dog has been vaccinated—he or she should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. If the veterinarian suspects that a venomous snake is involved, a specific type of antivenin is needed for each type of snake. So it’s important for you to know the type of snake that bit your pet. Being familiar with the snakes that are commonly in your area can help you identify the snake so that your veterinarian can determine the best treatment.

What Can I Do to Prevent Snakebites?

When hiking with your dog, stay on open paths and keep your dog on a leash. Don’t allow your pet to dig under rocks or logs. If you live in a rattlesnake habitat, clear brush and firewood away from your house, and keep grass mowed.