Snakes are dangerous to pets


The first sign of spring warm weather indicates the start of snake season. Moving out of their hibernation homes they are hungry and active. Unfortunately inquisitive domestic pets can be the victim of a snake bite and envenomation.  Even the smallest amount of venom can cause symptoms within a short amount of time depending on the bite site and how much venom is injected.

The most common snake is the Eastern brown and the red bellied black in our local area. Symptoms include wobbliness, paralysis, crying and respiratory distress. Snake venom contains neurotoxins and haemotoxins causing life threatening symptoms. There is no home treatment just an emergency call to your vet. If you see the snake (dead or alive) take a photograph if possible so that it can be identified as to what species it is and provide the best possible emergency treatment plan and anti-venom type.

Your dog or cat will be hospitalised and placed on fluids, given antivenene and supportive treatment. Advanced hospitalisation in a humidified oxygen cage and intensive nursing is required and animals are generally hospitalised for 3-5 days and then home care is required.

If you see your pet with a snake contact the Companion Animal Health Centre for emergency advice.