My Dog Got Bitten By a Snake, What Do I Do?
If you live in an area where snakes are common, you may worry about your dog being bitten by a snake. Even a dog who only spends time in the backyard is at risk of being bitten by a snake in areas where the snake population is high, so it’s important to learn what to do and how to help if this ever happens to your pet.
6 Steps You Should Follow if Your Dog Gets Bitten by a Snake
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take when your dog is bitten by a snake. Read through this information so you’ll be prepared for whatever might happen.
Below are 6 steps you need to follow if your dog gets bitten by a snake:
Look for Symptoms
Start by looking for symptoms, and know how to recognize signs of snake bites in dogs. Signs that your dog may have been bitten by a snake include:
- Shaking and trembling (these are some of the first signs)
- Excessive drooling
- Blood in the urine
Dogs who are in a very serious state following a snake bite may have dilated pupils, may become fully or partially paralyzed, or may have excessive swelling of the face, snout, or location of the snake bite. All of these symptoms are serious, however, so be sure you pay close attention for any of them in your dog.
Clean the Wound
If you have seen the bite wound on your dog, try to rinse it with cool, clean water. Be careful, as your dog may be afraid or in pain and may be prone to biting because of this. You will likely need help from another capable adult to do this.
At the same time as you are cleaning the wound, try to keep the bite wound below your pet’s heart. For example, if your dog was bitten on the leg, position your dog so that her upper body is on a pillow or two and her leg is not.
Call the Vet if Any Symptoms Occur
If you notice even just one symptom in your dog following a snake bite, contact the vet or emergency vet immediately. You can do this while you are cleaning the wound to expedite the situation even more. Let the vet know what has happened and which symptoms you’re observing in your pet.
Your vet will likely ask you multiple questions about the situation. You can answer these on the phone, but you may want to wait and answer them when you arrive if your dog is in very serious condition. Tell the vet this if so.
If you know your dog’s been bitten by a snake, it is important to stay calm, even though this is a serious and scary situation for you and your pet. Your dog will recognize that you’re stressed and worried, and will become more agitated as a result. Therefore, try your best to stay as calm as you can so your dog will calm down, too.
If you have help from someone else during this crisis, be sure they stay calm as well. And if your dog is lashing out or trying to bite due to fear or pain, speak to her in soothing, calming tones but try to avoid her mouth as much as possible.
Identify the Snake if Possible
If it is possible, try to identify the snake. This will help the vet administer the right course of treatment quickly. However, you should never under any circumstances try to catch the snake yourself. If you can clearly see it, write down some notes about what it looks like; if you are a safe distance away, you might also be able to take a picture with your phone.
Never try to approach the snake that has bitten your dog, even if you think it is calm. Snakes can strike without warning, and the snake could end up biting you as well. Also, there’s a possibility that it could be a poisonous snake, which is an important reason why you should never go after the snake yourself.
Last but not least, act quickly. Don’t wait to take your dog to the vet if you see any symptoms of a snake bite. Your dog may be suffering considerably from the bite, and the symptoms may only worsen the longer you wait.
Most snake bites are treatable as long as you get your dog to the vet within a reasonable amount of time. If your vet is not available, then it’s time to contact the emergency vet. They will ask you many of the same questions as your regular vet, so be prepared to answer these at the emergency vet as well.
Go to the Vet Right Away if Your Dog’s Been Bitten by a Snake
The faster you learn how to respond to a snake bite, the better your pet’s chances of surviving serious bites. If your pet is bitten by a non-venomous snake, you may not have to react so quickly; however, unless you are very good at identifying snakes and you clearly saw the bite take place, it can be difficult to know this for sure.
Reach out to your emergency vet if your regular vet is not open at the time the bite takes place. At The Village Vets, our emergency animal hospital is open 24/7 so your pet can get the care they need right away. Whether your dog gets bitten by a snake in the early morning, middle of the day, or late at night, our team is available and ready to help. Call us now at (404) 371-9774 and bring your dog in immediately.