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Snake Protection: Best Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe from Snakes

Snake Protection: Best Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe from Snakes

This guide has all the information you need if your pet has been bitten by a snake. 
  • What happens if your dog or cat is bitten by a snake? 
  • Signs and Symptoms of Snake Bites you will see on your pets 
  • What to do if the snake is still around 
  • Treatment for Snake Bite 
  • After Care and how to protect your pets from snakes 

    Australia is home to 20 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world. In fact, Australia is home to the top 10 list of most venomous snakes in the world!

    Summer is the time of year where the majority of snakes are most active in your pet's environment and can come into your backyard looking for water and hunting for food. The most common snake bites for cats and dogs in Australia are from tiger and brown snakes which in a lot of cases can be fatal.  

    What happens if your dog or cat is bitten by a snake? 

    Poisonous snakes use their fangs to bite their victims and inject venom into their victims. This venom affects the lymphatic system of animals causing them to become weak and paralysed.  

    Some snakes are classified as non-venomous meaning that they are not dangerous to dogs and cats if they are bitten although there is a risk of infection if left untreated. These bite wounds may need attention from your local veterinarian and regardless of whether you are sure of which breed of snake has bitten your pet it is always best to seek emergency vet assistance.  

    Some warning signs of a snake in a dog or cat bite are: 

    • Sudden weakness followed by collapse 
    • Shaking or twitching of the muscles  
    • Difficulty blinking  
    • Vomiting 
    • Loss of bladder and bowel control 
    • Dilated pupils  
    • Paralysis 
    • Blood in urine 

      What to do if the snake is still around my dog or cat? 

      Tips on looking out for snake activity in your backyard: 

      • Noisy birds: heightened bird activity can be associated with snakes in the yard 
      • Dog barking can be a hint that a snake is present 
      • Dog attracted to a certain place in the backyard or even clawing at the ground can indicate they have a snake cornered somewhere 
      • Look out for cats that are stalking ground prey, especially in long grass 
      • Pet birds may be agitated in cages and making a lot of noise

        If the snake is still around, make sure you can safely get to your dog or cat to remove them from the situation. If the snake has cornered your pet or your pet is attacking the snake, don’t approach. 

        If your pet won’t respond to recall commands, but you have access to a hose and can spray the dog or cat from a distance this can be enough to break their concentration and let the snake get away. 

        If you can take a photo of the snake to show the vet this may be helpful in choosing an anti venom serum. But always remember that even if the snake appears dead don’t pick it up, it’s best to keep yourself and your pet as safe as possible. 

        What to do if my dog or cat has been bitten by a snake? 

        Snake bites are an emergency situation so it’s best to contact your closest veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet has been bitten by a snake, here are some First Aid steps you can start:  

        First Aid Tips for Snake Bites on Your Pet: 

        • Pets are usually bitten on or around the head, neck or legs  
        • Keep your pet calm and minimise movement and distress 
        • Do not attempt to clean or look at the bite mark as this may cause further discomfort to your pet. 
        • If you can, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to slow down the lymphatic system (similar to first aid we use on people who are bitten) but never use a tourniquet as this restricts blood flow.  
        • Carry your pet to your car, do not allow them to walk if you can help it. The less movement the better. 
        • Transport your pet to a vet immediately and if possible, call the clinic to let them know you are on your way. 
        • If you believe the snake will still be around your house and a future danger, call a snake catcher when possible. 

          How do I protect my dog from snake bites?  

          Australia's climate is the perfect environment for snakes, especially in the spring and summer months when the weather starts to heat up. Because there are so many venomous snakes in Australia it’s not uncommon for a deadly one to visit your backyard.  

          If you know it’s going to be a hot day or a snake is around, consider having your dog indoors or somewhere secure so they can’t see the snake. 
          There are some ways that you can help minimize a snake visiting your backyard:  

          • Cover any holes leading to your yard and fix any fences or gates that have gaps between them. Snakes love to crawl into hiding spots underneath objects, houses and between fences. 
          • Maintain a tidy garden by mowing lawns regularly and cleaning up any shrubbery where a snake could be hiding.  
          • If you have any rock walls, make sure to block cavities so that snakes can’t hide inside the structure 
          • If you have any birds make sure you keep tidy pens by cleaning up any bird seed and keeping water out of reach. Prevent snakes getting into enclosures by placing wire down so they can’t get inside. 
          • Make sure that any food scraps and compost is covered tightly to prevent mice. If mice or rodents are around there will more likely be snakes.

            Pets will sometimes be fine after a snake bite and then go downhill rapidly so it’s important to get them to a veterinarian as quickly as possible to begin assessment and treatment for the snake bite. 

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