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Posted on 04-08-2014

Advice from Our Austin Veterinarian

Pet Snake Bites in AustinIf your pet enjoys exploring the great outdoors, there is always a possibility that he will encounter a snake. While most snakes are not venomous, those that are can pose a serious danger to your pet's life. Fortunately, our Austin animal hospital knows how to treat this type of pet emergency.

A snake bite is usually extremely painful whether it contains venom or not, but there are certain symptoms that clearly indicate a venomous bite.

Look for telltale swelling around the pair of tiny puncture marks left by a typical bite. Another one of the obvious symptoms is bruising at the bite location. If your pet starts vomiting or acting sluggish or weak, these are also indications that the venom has begun its work. Even if your pet displays no symptoms apart from pain, the safe move is to take your pet to our veterinary hospital.

Austin hosts both venomous and non-venomous snakes, so unless you actually saw the perpetrator and can identify it with absolute confidence, treat it as an emergency. If the snake is still in your yard, take a picture of it and bring the image with you to our emergency animal hospital. We will be able to determine if it highly venomous snake like a rattle snake -- we have treated over 100 snake bite patients within the last 16 months at our emergency practices in north and south Austin, so they are common. 

At the same time, however, it is important to realize that snake bite emergencies may not respond to many common pet emergency measures. Ice and tourniquets, for instance, generally will not help a snake bite; in fact, they only take up precious minutes that you could use to get your pet to our Austin animal hospital. Sucking out the venom may only poison you as well. First aid steps that do make a difference, however, including keeping your pet as still and calm as possible, and positioning your pet so that his heart is never lower than the bite marks. These steps will slow the progress of the venom.

Let Our Austin Animal Hospital Handle It

The most important step you can take is to rush your pet to our veterinary hospital. Austin veterinarian Dr. Scott Johnson and his associates at Emergency Animal Hospital of NW Austin can administer lifesaving antihistamines, antibiotics, hydration and/or antivenin. We will do everything possible to save your pet!

Were you ever bitten by a poisonous snake? 

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