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If you dog or cat has been bitten by a snake during your primary veterinarian's off business hours, visit Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin. Puppies and dogs are often tempted to check out any movement in the grass, making them particularly vulnerable. Texas is home to several varieties of dangerously venomous pit vipers (rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths) which have a heat sensing pit in front of and below their eye, triangular shaped heads, and ellipsoid pupils and the deadly coral snake that has alternating bands of black, yellow and red (remember: “red on yellow” kills a fellow). Our emergency veterinary professionals stresses, however, that even non-venomous snakes in the area can deliver bites that can become badly infected.
The prevalence of these snakes in our area makes snake bites a very common pet emergency in Austin that you should be prepared to handle.
If you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a snake you should:
The symptoms of a bite by a pit viper such as the rattlesnake, copperhead, or cottonmouth may show some or all of the following:
Venomous pit viper snake bites can cause significant tissue damage at and around the bite site, affect the hematologic system (the blood’s ability to coagulate), the cardiovascular, renal, and gastrointestinal systems. Some rattlesnake bites may cause neurologic signs with minimal reaction at the bite site but the rattlesnakes (Mojave) that cause these symptoms are not located in the Central Texas area.
Treatment for venomous snakebites depends upon the type of snake, the severity of the bite and laboratory results. First your pet will be examined by our emergency veterinarian to assess the signs and symptoms they are showing. Diagnostic bloodwork may be performed to determine the likelihood of envenomation and assess vital organ function and coagulation abnormalities. Treatment decisions are based on the patient’s clinical symptoms and bloodwork abnormalities. Treatment is designed to limit the circulating venom load and to treat the symptoms and consists of (but not limited to) a combination of the following:
If you pet was bit by a pet during the evening or early morning, please visit Emergency Animal Hospital of Austin, your emergency veterinarian in Northwest Austin, or call us at 512-331-6121.