As temperatures creep up, the snakes creep in! The dry, warm climate allows snakes to thrive and can attract them to the comfort of your yard or home. Every year in Australia, over six thousand pets are bitten by snakes. At Mad Paws, we love all animals – including snakes – but it’s important to keep your furry friends safe from their slithering cousins and to know what to do in case of an emergency.
Keep ’em leashed
If you’re going on a walk in an area known to have snakes, keep your pooch on a leash to avoid them sticking their snouts where they don’t belong! It also makes sense to keep to the trail to avoid disturbing any snoozing snakes in the undergrowth.
Prepare the yard
Keeping grass short and removing any large rocks is the first step to snake proofing your yard. Snakes are cold blooded and so seek shade to stay cool so reducing potential hiding places in your garden is a good idea. Snakes typically catch and eat rodents and woodpiles provide the perfect environment for mice to live so try stacking firewood as far away from your home as you can to avoid unintentionally attracting snakes.
If your pet is bitten by a snake, don’t wait for symptoms to appear – try to keep your pet as still and calm as possible and head to a veterinarian immediately. Do not delay. Some venoms can take a few hours to show symptoms in pets and by that time, it may be too late. Remember, it is illegal to catch or kill a snake.
Of course, pets are not constantly at our side and can come across a snake when we’re not around. During the warmer months, if your pet starts acting strangely you must bear in mind that it could be due to a snake bite and contact your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms can be:
- Shaking or twitching
- Wobbly legs
- Breathing difficulties
- Bleeding from wound
If your vet determines that your pet has been bitten, they will administer a broad spectrum anti-venom, which is usually very effective. Your pet will most likely also be given intravenous fluids and oxygen and spend a few days at the vet for observation. The sooner you get your pet to the vet, the better their chances of survival are. Be aware that the treatment for a snake bite can be extremely expensive and can cost thousands of dollars.