Snake Bite Safety & Prevention Tips

If you frequently hike or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors with your pet, please take care to prevent painful encounters with snakes. Bites occur most often in between March and October when snakes are most active. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), a snake bite is always considered an emergency—a venomous snake bite can be fatal if not treated immediately, and even a bite from a nonvenomous snake can be dangerous for your pets.

The APCC would like to offer the following tips for snake bite safety around pets:

Avoid chance encounters with snakes:

  • Keep your yard tidy by clearing away undergrowth, toys and tools that make great hiding places for snakes.
  • Keep walkways clear of brush, flowers and shrubs.
  • Clean up any spilled food, fruit or bird seed, which can attract rodents—and therefore snakes—to your yard.
  • When walking your pet, keep him on a leash.
  • Steer your pet clear of long grasses, bushes and rocks.
  • Snakes can strike across a distance equal to about half their body length. If you see a snake, head back the way you came.
  • Familiarize yourself with snakes who are common in your area. In the event of a bite, identifying the type of snake may help with your pet’s treatment.

Recognize snake bite symptoms:

  • Local or general swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Intense pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dead tissue around the wound
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Renal failure

What to do if you think your pet’s been bitten:

  • Remember to stay calm.
  • Keep your pet calm, too, by limiting his activity.
  • If your pet was bitten on the neck, remove his collar.
  • If possible, keep the location of the bite below heart level.
  • Seek veterinary care for your pet immediately.
  • Treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound and trying to suck out venom should not be attempted in place of getting your pet to the vet—they may just waste precious time.
  • Always keep your personal safety in mind and do not try to catch or kill a snake yourself.
  • Even if you think a snake is dead, never handle him. Some dead snakes are capable of inflicting a bite by muscle contractions.

Purina Veterinary Diet Food

Does your pet struggle with weight management problems? Summer can be a difficult time for overweight pets, because they may be even more uncomfortable in the heat than a pet of a healthy weight would be. At Northside Animal Hospital, we offer Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management® food, which offers dietary benefits that provide optimal nutrition while meeting your adult dog’s special needs. We can help you get your pet start on a proper nutritional diet as well as a daily exercise regiment.

Pets & Heatstroke

Summer is almost here, and that means the weather is going to start getting hot! Remember to keep your pet nice and cool this summer to avoid the dangers of heatstroke. Animals and people are susceptible to heatstroke, and it can be caused by overexertion and lack of proper hydration in hot weather. We recommend giving your pet a cool place to relax—with plenty of breezes, or even a/c—and plenty of fresh water to drink. And don’t forget: never, ever leave your pet in the car in the summer! Just leave them home where they’ll be more comfortable.