Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Snake Bites and Your Dog

   With the weather getting warmer, along with the flowers and butterflies comes something not so delightful. Snakes. I don’t know how you feel about them, but I am not a fan on any level. They give me the creeps and I am terrified that Bentley or Pierre will be bitten by one. It is not unusual for us to see several in our backyard during the warm months because we have woods close by us.
Pierre Westie searching garden
   Both of the dogs have a very distinct “Snake” bark. Unfortunately, I heard it this past weekend when Pierre was outside. He loves chasing lizards in my gardens and often dives headfirst into them. I looked out the door and saw him on full alert barking like a mad dog. He came inside when I called him and sure enough, I saw a snake stick its head out of the grass. UGH!
   First of all, you need to know that all snakes are not venomous. The king snake is actually helpful and will kill other snakes that might come for an uninvited visit. Most snakes are not aggressive unless provoked by something like a barking dog. If a snake has a triangular head, it is poisonous. You can also tell by the shape of their pupil. A poisonous snake has an oblong or slit pupil. You won’t find me getting close enough to see into a snake's eyes but it’s a good thing to know.
Rest area warning signs
How to keep your dog safe from snakes
As with any trouble, it is best if a snake encounter can be avoided.
1.  Keep your yard clean and mowed. Do not let your dog go near woodpiles or rock piles.
2.  When walking, stay on paths and keep your dog on a leash.
3.  Keep nighttime walks to a minimum. Rattlesnakes are active during that time.
4.  If your dog seems unusually interested in something in the grass, move them away until you know what it is peaking their curiosity.
What to do if your dog is bitten by a snake
If your dog is bitten by a snake, you will need to act quickly. Here are some steps to take as soon as the bite occurs.
1.  Try to identify the type of snake by noting its markings, size, and shape of the head.
2.  Check your dog for fang marks. These are usually on the dog’s snout but could be anywhere including their legs.
3.  If the bite is on the leg, you can tie a tourniquet above the marks. It should be snug but not over tight.
4.  Call your vet and let them know that you are on the way with a snake bite emergency. Remain calm so that your dog does not get over-excited.
   Until you are certain, always assume a snake is venomous. Snakes can blend into their environment which makes spotting them difficult. Know the areas that you take your dogs and what types of snakes are native to that region.
   You might not be able to prevent your dog from an encounter with a snake. However, knowing how to react in the event that your dog is bitten can make the difference in life and death.

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  1. I had no chance to see if they are poisonous or not... snake=stampede...I'm grateful that they arre rare here... although a simple blindworm gave me a nuclear meltdown once...

  2. If we see a snake, we can be 90% sure it is venomous. Only the pythons here aren't. We're not allowed to run free during the summer.

  3. Snakes? Eek! Ugh! So glad he didn't get bit!

  4. Mom hopes that I NEVER meet a snake!

  5. FYI, I was here, but Mom won't let me read anything about snakes. She can't even see a photo of a snake or she flips out, so I couldn't read your post, but since snakes here don't bite, we will be alright. Happy Tuesday!

  6. Thank you for this info...most valuable here in the South too. WE have a creek in the middle of our development and there have been copperheads roaming through the woods in past years.
    I agree I would never get close enough to look into a snakes eyes. Truth be told I'm not very found of worms either. Triangular head is easy to spot.
    Hugs Mom and Madi

  7. So scary. We saw a training class when we were hiking. The trainer would zap the pups when they got close to the fake snake and then the real snake
    Lily & Edward

  8. I know in Texas, they offer dog vaccinations for rattlesnake bites too...Great advice!!

  9. Forget about calling the vet - call Mom's doctor first. She would for sure have a heart attack on the spot. I am never off my leash, except in our little doggie park which has turf on the ground. Mom watches me like a hawk, but this info is good to know just in case....

    Love and licks,

  10. I didn't know poisonous snakes have triangular heads and slit shaped pupils. This was helpful; thanks!
    Jody, Sophie, Jasper, Ani & Albie.

  11. Snakes have such a bad reputation but they are mostly terrified of us

  12. Great information ! When Claire was living closer to the vineyard, she was used to see vipers, and cats playing with baby vipers. Purrs

  13. Mom always assumes all snakes are poisonous, even when dad is telling her it is a tiny garter snake she insists it is a rattle snake. Good post!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. How great to share this important information. We are lucky that most snakes in our area are harmless. Of course, that still doesn't stop me from squealing and running when I see one! LOL
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  15. I need to remind my niece of snakes when she lets her dog out in the fenced in yard, luckily we have no poisonous ones around.

  16. Dad uncovered a couple of snakes the other day in the lower part of our property (where we are not allowed) One was just a garden snake but the other he said looked similar to a rattler but was probably a blow snake
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  17. Great advice. It's better to be safe than sorry, so it's super important to be alert and prepared for snakes!

  18. That is some good advice guys! Ma forgots some of that stuffs like the eyeballs...she is now putting it in her memory bank...I hopes it doesn't get robbed....
    We gots the rattlers in the foothills, butts who knows if they might come down to check out the burbs!
    Ruby ♥

  19. Snakes??!! Shudder. Here's praying the season is snake free for you and your pups.

  20. Also it might be helpful to ask your vet in advance if they stock pit viper antivenin. We had a cat when I was growing up in Texas who was bitten by a rattler - and survived. He lost all his fur on the side of the bite, though...plus the top layer of his skin. Poor kitty! The lifesaver was the antivenin the vet kept on site.

  21. In your picture of Venomous Snakes you have listed a Coral Snake, but that is a picture of a milk snake.
    There is a famous rhyme to distinguish the venomous Coral Snake from the Non Venomous similarly colored coral and king snakes.
    "Red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow. Red touches Black, friend of Jack"


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