Snake Bite Symptoms in Dogs & When to Seek Help
We all know the risk of encountering a snake in the wild. Although they’re more active in warmer weather, the risks around your dog being bitten by a snake in Spring and Autumn are still very real, and it’s important to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation while camping or bush hiking.
How to tell if your dog has been bitten by a snake
Signs and symptoms of snake bites in dogs may include:
- Weakness in the hind legs
- Shaking or twitching
- Dilated pupils
- Blood in the urine
There are a number of factors that will impact how your dog reacts to the bite, however, including:
- Variety of snake
- Maturity of snake
- Location of the bite
- Time lapse between the bite and treatment
- General health of your buddy
If you know or see symptoms and even suspect that your dog has been bitten by a snake, contact your Vet as a matter of urgency and follow these instructions:
- Immobilise your buddy and try and keep him as calm and quiet as possible.
- If your dog has been bitten anywhere other than his head, use a bandage or item of clothing to carefully wrap the bite. The bandage should be firm, but not so tight as to cut circulation.
- If you can, and ONLY if safe to do so, get a visual sighting or photograph of the snake. This will help your Vet identify what kind of treatment your dog will require.
Never put yourself in a situation that may put you at risk of being bitten. Do NOT get to close, and do NOT try and catch the snake.
If sighting the snake is not possible, there are tests available to help your Vet to identify exactly which type of venom has effected your dog whilst they treat snake bite symptoms.
About 80% of dogs bitten by venomous snakes do recover if treatment is initiated quickly.
Learn more about protecting your dog from insect and mosquito bites