Being active with your pet is healthy and fun for both of you. But, before you decide to venture out you should know that poisonous snakes bite at least 15,000 dogs and cats in the U.S. every year. The State of Texas is home to 15 venomous snake species or subspecies and Texas has one of the highest envenomation fatality rates.
The School of Veterinary Medicine veterinarians say that snake encounters with your pets usually occur from April to October. As we all know, when you live in Texas the weather is unpredictable and really doesn't provide for a typical snake season. Basically, every day is snake season. Being prepared and knowing what to do if your pet encounters a snakebite can save your pet's life.
Notice The Signs Of Envenomation
It's not always easy to diagnose if your dog has been bitten - especially if he or she is of a furrier variety. Signs may develop slowly for several hours or immediately.
About 80% of bites are on the face and head and 30% occur on the legs. These are the "best" places to be bitten and the most noticeable. Your pup may look awful and the degree of swelling can be alarming, but these regions can actually slow the uptake of venom. Snakebites to the tongue are dangerous and result in rapid envenomation.
There is often bleeding around the site of the bite because snake venom does contain potent anti-clotting agents. Signs to notice within the first hour are heavy breathing, excessive drooling, muscle shaking, and sudden bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.
What To Do For A Snakebite
Dogs can sense fear and stress.
Keep Your Pet's Heart Rate Low
Keeping the bite area below the heart will prevent the venom from spreading faster. If you can, immobilize the part of your pet that has been bitten by the snake.
Get To The Vet
Going to a professional is the only way to treat your dog for a snakebite. Even if you suspect your dog may have been bitten, your peace of mind is priceless.
Identify The Snake (If You See It)
Take note of the snake's color patterns, its size and if it has a rattle at the end of the tail.
Don't Apply Pressure To The Wound Or Attempt To Use A Tourniquet
Snake venom is designed to destroy tissue for digestion. You will cause further damage and possibly create the need for limb amputation.
Don't Wash The Wound
Applying cold water or ice to the bite actually concentrates the venom causing severe muscle damage to the area. Don't ever try to suck out the venom.
Don't Approach The Snake
A large majority of human snakebites result from pet owners trying to catch or kill snakes. Don't be another statistic. Saving your dog is first priority... And he or she can't drive you to the hospital.
Don't Hate The Snake
It's easy to get angry and upset when your furry friend has been bitten. But, you have to remember that not all snakes are venomous and they do play an important role in the Texas ecosystem. Their ability to control the population of rodents is invaluable. Snakes are not dog hunters and bites are a result of being startled or cornered. Envenomation is a defensive mechanism.
Snake Bite Prevention
Carry Your Phone
Always have the closest emergency facilities stored in your phone. This means any nearby hospital, veterinarian, animal control, police or fire department. It may seem extreme, but be being prepared can save seconds and seconds could mean life or death.
Keep Your Dog Leashed
Controlling your dog with a leash is by far your best safety device. An unleashed dog could stir up a snake.
No Nighttime Walks
Avoid nighttime walks; most snakes are nocturnal.
Stay On Open Paths
Keep snakes visible by journeying on open paths.
Walk Aware And Prepared
Snakes rattle their tail when they feel vibrations from the ground and are startled. If you hear anything, keep your dog at your side until you locate a snake.
Avoid Deep Grass And Vegetation
Dogs can be unusually curious about "anything" hidden in the grass. You should back away immediately until you know what it is. Allowing your dog to explore holes in the ground or dig under logs could potentially result in a snake confrontation.
Avoid Rocky Outcrops
Snakes love lounging in the sun on warm rocks… Don't we all?
The only proven treatment against pit viper envenomation is Antivenom. The earlier it is administered, the more effective its action. The cost of antivenom can be anywhere from $350 to $700 per vial. Several vials may be necessary, especially in small dogs.
Using Pet Loans for Emergencies
It may not be as fun letting your dog romp in the wild, but taking proper precautions and being prepared can prevent future distress. CASH 1 Loans does understand that emergencies can still happen. If you live in Texas or Nevada, applying for an Installment Loan or simply giving us a call at 866-948-2631 could relieve financial pressures for you.