The warmer summer months are the perfect time to get out of the house and spend quality time with your beloved pet. However, for pet owners, it is important to remember that in the warmer weather, snakes are much more active. Australia has over 140 species of land snakes, 100 of which are considered venomous. The Eastern Brown Snake, in particular, is responsible for approximately 60% of snake-bite deaths in Australia. It is most commonly found in farmland and the outskirts of urban areas.
We are taught to leave snakes alone and stick to the man-made trails in areas that we are not familiar with, however, our inquisitive pets often venture off into dense bush in search of adventure, increasing their likelihood of being bitten by a snake. We must remember that snakes are often camouflaged and cannot be seen before it is too late!
If your pet is bitten by a snake their response will largely be influenced by the type of snake, the amount of venom injected, and the location of the bite.
Some symptoms pet owners should be aware of include:
- Sudden weakness, leading to collapse
- Involuntary movements (shaking or twitching)
- Blood in urine
- Dilated pupils
In the instance that your pet is presenting any of these symptoms, it is important to keep them calm to preserve their energy and prevent them from licking the wound. It is vital that they get to a veterinarian immediately. The survival rate of pets increases greatly when they receive the necessary treatment right away.
As pet owners, it is critical that you give the veterinarian as much information about the snake as this will mean they can apply the most effective form of treatment. Anti-venom treatment can be quite expensive, so it is best that you, as a pet owner, take precautionary measures to safeguard your pet’s health and well-being. You can do this by keeping them on a lead in areas that are unfamiliar to you and your pet. In addition, it is important that you keep your eyes on them to prevent them from wandering into dense bush where snakes may live.