Vets issue snake bite warning for pet owners

29th October, 2014

As the summer months approach and snakes emerge from hibernation, veterinarian Dr Craig Challen of Vetwest Animal Hospitals warns Perth pet owners to be aware of the potential for snake bites.
“Australia has a large number of venomous snakes but the tiger snake and brown snake (Dugite) account for the majority of snake bites in domestic pets around Perth,” said Dr Challen. “At this time of year, even city dogs and cats can encounter snakes in local parks, particularly those near bodies of water such as lakes and beaches.”

Dogs are inquisitive by nature, so when exercising them in bushland during the warmer months of the year, Dr Challen recommends using a leash. Clearing back yards of long grass and removing any piles of rubbish can also help to reduce the number of hiding spots for snakes to reside in.

Common signs suggesting snakebites include sudden weakness followed by collapse, shaking or twitching of muscles and vomiting. Dr Challen said if pet owners suspect snake bite, they should go to their nearest veterinarian immediately.

“A bite for a dog can be lethal in less than 30 minutes.”

If your pet is bitten do not try to catch or kill the snake. All Australian snakes are protected and you may expose yourself to unnecessary danger.

For more information about Snake Bite and Your Pet click here.

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