What to do if your pet is bitten by a snake? How to react in case of a viper bite on your dog? How to recognize a viper bite? Summer is a good season for snake bites in our cats and dogs. Whether it is in the countryside, in the mountains, or even at the sea the risk of a bite is present. Fortunately, not all bites are dangerous but knowing how to react is important to avoid consequences that can be serious for the health of the animal. Discover our guide to know what to do if your dog or cat has been bitten by a snake and how to react.
Snake bites in dogs and cats: the first steps to take
You should know that in the united state, only vipers are venomous. Vipers are medium-sized snakes that measure between 40 and 60 centimeters and live in the fields, in the mountains, and by the sea. They are often confused with snakes, which are much larger and harmless. The real enemies of our animal friends are vipers. In the case of a viper bite, the venom can lead to many disorders and health problems. It is therefore necessary to take care to perform the first aid measures for the animal as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of a viper bite
The viper attacks the animal generally on the limbs or directly on the face of the animal. As a result, the physical reaction is then easily visible in addition to the pain your pet feels. It is essential to quickly detect a viper bite in a cat or dog because this bite represents a vital danger for your pet.
The bite is very painful and can be distinguished by the presence of two red dots marking the snake’s hooks (or teeth). The first symptoms occur within 30 minutes and intensify in the following hours. Your pet will change his behavior, and disorders may appear. It is important to know that cats are more resistant than dogs to snake bites, but the danger remains the same.
In the event of a snake bite, the affected area will show edema and tissue necrosis. In dogs, clinical signs such as despondency, fever, diarrhea or vomiting, hemorrhages or convulsions are observed,…
In cats, these signs are rarer, which can prove to be more dangerous since one may not take the necessary measures in time to care for the animal.
First aid for an animal bitten by a snake
The first reflex to have will be to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to examine and treat the animal. In the meantime, a few essential gestures are to be made to help the suffering animal. This first aid will also help to limit poisoning by venomous snakes.
It is advisable to keep as calm as possible so as not to panic the animal and help it to be as quiet as possible. If it becomes agitated, it will only spread the venom more quickly in the body. Wrapping it in a sheet or blanket to keep it calm is the best solution to prevent any aggravation.
To reduce the pain caused by the bite and slow the spread of the venom an ice pack can be applied locally to the affected area. The cold limits the spread of venom in the animal’s body and reduces the pain felt by the animal. Otherwise, a cold compress previously put in the refrigerator or freshwater will do the trick.
The bite can be disinfected with an iodine solution such as Betadine to avoid future infections on the animal’s skin. Above all, alcohol should not be applied to disinfect the bite as this product would accelerate blood circulation and therefore the diffusion of venom.
Not to be done in case of a snake bite by a cat or dog.
In the case of snake bites in dogs and cats, owners tend to act in a hurry. Indeed, we are often misinformed about what to do if a dog or cat is bitten by a snake. Therefore, the best solution is to urgently contact a veterinarian to find out what care to apply. To help you, we are going to list the things not to do in case of a snake bite from a cat or dog.
In panic and haste, you may need to do a few things and think about doing them right. Even if it is done with good intentions, it can be useless or even make the situation worse. It is better to be warned of the gestures not to do, here they are:
Do not try to suck out the venom at the risk of being contaminated as well.
Do not use alcohol or ether-based products to disinfect the snake bite, because these products accelerate blood circulation.
Do not use anti-venom solutions for humans, on the one hand, these products have no effect on animals, but on the other hand, they can cause allergic shock and have much more serious consequences than the bite.
Do not apply a tourniquet to try to avoid propagation because this gesture leads to a high concentration of venom in the affected area and aggravates local tissue necrosis. Moreover, when the tourniquet is removed, the venom spreads rapidly and can be dangerous.
How to avoid snake bites in cats and dogs?
There is no miracle solution to prevent your dog or cat from being bitten by a snake. The most important thing is to know how to recognize a snake bite, especially a viper bite. However, there are some tricks to limit the risk of seeing your dog or cat being attacked and bitten by a snake. Especially during walks in the mountains or in the fields.
To prevent snakebites in dogs and cats, the key will be to keep an eye on the animal as much as possible. Thus, while walking, it is better to keep your dog on a leash to prevent it from sneaking into the bushes, which are the ideal hiding place for snakes. Be aware that a snake only bites when it feels in danger or caught off guard, tapping the ground with a long stick will make noise and warn it of the arrival of possible predators, and it will run away.
Unfortunately, it is more difficult to keep an eye on cats who are mopers at heart. Maintaining the area around your property by cutting tall grass and avoiding any clutter that could be a snake hiding place will reduce the risk of the reptile venturing near you.
In any case, a veterinary consultation is required as soon as your dog or pet seems to have crossed paths with a snake. If left untreated, a snake bite can become very serious.