How to Protect Your Dog from Snake Bites This Summer Season
As summer kicks in, more cases of snake bites in dogs are being reported. It is important that you keep watch of your dog as you enjoy the summer season together. Here are tips on how to protect your pup from snake bites.
Dogs, especially puppies, are naturally curious creatures. Their adventurous self likes to snoop and sniff around as they take in new environments. Sometimes your pup may knock on the wrong door and the occupants behind it may not be all so welcoming.
Puppies often fall victim of snake bites because of their natural inquisitiveness. Older dogs may get attacked by snakes while defending themselves or chasing the intruder from their turf. Your pup could also get that fang bite while protecting his owner.
Your dog may not understand the severity of a snake bite, but you do. Snake venom will affect a dog’s body the same way it affects a human’s. Fortunately, first aid for dogs with snake bites is similar to that for humans.
The only difference is how you diagnose snake bites in dogs.
The human skin has no fur so it is easy to spot those fang marks. Cuddles has fur all over his body so you may not notice the bite at all. Many dog owners have confused snake bites as insect bites.
Lucky for you, we are going to teach you how to spot a snake bite and determine if it is poisonous. First, we need to understand the different types of snakes that will be out prowling this season
Types of snakes
Snakes are grouped as poisonous and non-poisonous. You will differentiate the two from their dental arrangement. Non-poisonous snakes have their jaws shaped like a horse-shoe and all teeth are the same size. Most non-poisonous snakes also have round or fully dark pupils.
Non-venomous snakes produce toxins in their bite just like poisonous snakes. This toxin may be classified as harmless to humans but it will still affect its prey. And the prey can be any animal on the snake’s menu, including your dog.
Poisonous snakes have the same horse-shoe shaped jaws. All teeth are the same size especially for two large ones at the front of their mouth, known as fangs. Bite marks from a venomous snake will appear as two large and distinct dots on the skin.
Venomous snakes love areas with warm climates. Texas alone houses 15% of all the poisonous snakes found in America. Note that the severity of a snake’s venom will affect each dog differently. Generally, the smaller the dog, the more lethal the venom will be.
How to detect snake bites in dogs
The first place to look for a snake bite is on the dog’s face and neck. Dogs will sniff at anything out of curiosity and a snake will bite in self-defense. Multiple bites may happen in other parts of the body should the dog engage the reptile in a fight.
In the case of a non-poisonous snake, look for tiny horse-shoe like marks of the same size on the dog’s body. If the bite is on another part of the body other than the face, then you have to check for other symptoms such as swelling, redness, or bleeding. Your pup may also wince in pain and try to lick and scratch the affected area. Since we do not know the toxicity of the bite, prevent your dog from licking the wound.
A venomous bite will be more lethal to your dog. When the venom gets into the blood, it triggers symptoms such as vomiting, paralysis, shock, or body weakness. Some dogs may display agitation, drooling, or excessive panting.
Its important to check for skin discoloration around the affected area. Some poisonous snakes have a deadly venom that dissolves the skin of its prey. The snake bite wound may look like it is festering which becomes worse with time. Such bites cause seizures and paralysis in the prey.
It can only take an hour for a venomous snake bite to end your dog’s life. If you suspect your dog has been attacked by a snake, head over to the vet clinic immediately. Any snake bite can be deadly even if it is non-poisonous.
Treating snake bites in dogs
Treat every snake bite as serious medical attention. These are the steps to diagnose and treat snake bites in dogs successfully.
First, identify the area of the bite. This should be that spot your dog is trying to scratch and lick to ease the pain. Your dog may also limp if the bite is on its paw. Check for bite marks to determine if the bite is venomous or not.
If you are able to spot the snake that bit your dog, the better. An accurate description of the snake will help your vet know the severity of the bite. This will also speed up the treatment process.
As you transport your dog to the vet, you need to ensure the poor animal is well ventilated. Snake venom tends to constrict blood vessel causing organs like the windpipe to thin. Remove the dog’s collar to ensure air supply is unrestricted. You may have to perform CPR for dogs to keep your precious pooch alive.
Ensure the dog is isolated from everyone in the car. This helps keep the dog stationary with no movements. Movement can cause the venom to travel faster through the blood which is fatal. Also, keep the wound below the heart level to slow down blood flow.
Constricting blood vessels helps slow down the venom from reaching other parts of the body. You can constrict blood vessels by applying an ice pack on the affected area. If you can see the wound, try rinsing it with water or wipe the area gently with a damp cloth. This helps get some of the poison away from the affected area. In the future, you may want to add a venom suction kit in your first aid kit.
Veterinary treatment of snake bites in dogs
The vet will use a combination of drugs to treat the snake bite. This will include antivenin which counters the toxic venom in the blood. Antibacterial and antihistamine drugs will be used to treat infection, reduce pain and swelling. If the dog is extremely agitated due to the pain, sedation may help quieten the animal.
After the vet’s appointment, your dog will need some time to recuperate at home. The dog’s immune system will need to be fully functional to fight the infection and heal the wound. We suggest adding Bullyade supplement into your dog’s diet. Bullyade is rich in vitamin C, zinc, and iron which help in fighting infections. Your dog also stands to benefit from other nutrients that improve his immune system and overall health.
As you enjoy the summer activities, always keep watch of your dog. A leash will help control the dog’s movement and avoid any dangers. Keep a muzzle on your dog if he is in the habit of sniffing everything in his way. Also, be aware of the types of snakes that are prone in your area. Do not forget Bullyade supplement which can help fight snake bites in dogs.