Because your dog will spend a good amount of time outdoors, they will be exposed to various environmental conditions and wildlife. From intense temperatures and allergens to many different insects and creatures, protecting your dog from it all can be overwhelming. Snakes, for instance, can be one issue your dog faces when outdoors. Unfortunately, you may not be able to protect your dog from a snake bite in certain situations. Knowing what to do if and when your dog is bitten, though, is smart. This guide will give you a few crucial steps to take if your dog was bitten by a snake.
Identify the Snake
Since some snakes are more dangerous or poisonous than others, one of the most important steps to take is identifying the snake – if possible. Knowing what kind of snake has bitten your dog will help you determine if immediate medical care is needed. The Cottonmouth is a common poisonous snake in the United States, and if your dog is bitten, you will need to visit the animal hospital quickly for treatment.
Cottonmouth snakes can grow up to three feet long. They have an arrow-shaped head that is wider than its neck. Young cottonmouth snakes are tan to brown in color with numerous darker bands across their body. Mature cottonmouth snakes have a green tail that tends to turn black once the snake becomes an adult. Again, knowing what type of snake has bitten your dog is ideal, but you should not put yourself in danger by trying to capture the snake. If possible, use your smartphone to snap a photo of the snake, which can be shown to the veterinarian.
Know the Signs
There are instances where you may not even realize your dog was bitten by a snake. For example, if you have a fenced-in yard and your dog goes outside without your supervision, they may be bitten without you even realizing it. In these cases, knowing the signs of a snake bite is helpful. You may notice small traces of blood on a specific part of your dog. Upon careful examination, you may even see actual bite marks. Redness and swelling are also common around snake bites.
Signs your dog was bitten by a poisonous snake are even more frightening. Your dog may be weak and unable to move. Or, your dog may start to shake and vomit uncontrollably. No matter what signs you are noticing, it is best to bring your dog in to receive a complete evaluation and full medical care. For more information, contact your local animal care hospital services.