Living in Australia, means living with snakes. So as a pet carer you have to be prepared for snake bite. Snakes are usually found close to fresh water such as creeks or dams, and in long grass or bush.
These guys don’t don’t usually seek out any interaction with us whatsoever, or our pets, but as many dogs (or cats) will instinctually chase or try to kill them, the snake may retaliate and the pet be bitten as a result.
Tiger (mainly southern Australia) and Brown (all over Australia) snakes are responsible for most of the bites of our pets in Oz.
Your snake strategy for your pet
- Avoid! Most important
- Only walk in short grass or on paths and keep alert.
- Avoid long grass and bush, especially near waterways
- Leash. Keep your pet close and contained.
- No play. Don’t let your dog play with a dead snake – the venom in their fangs can still cause a fatality even after the snake itself is dead.
- Secure, safe sleeping. Ensure your mates sleeping area is secure so they cannot escape, and so that snakes can’t easily get in. Don’t store pet food where they are sleeping as this can also attract snakes.
Symptoms of snake bite
You may only notice one or a few of the following and they can be seen anywhere from 1-24 hours after a bite:
- Sudden collapse
- Dilated pupils
- Weakness, often starting in the back legs moving to all four legs and full paralysis where they are unable to walk
- Blood in urine or vomit
See a snake?
Always stay clear of snakes and never attempt to catch one (nor kill- they are protected in Australia), if you see one around your house or work space keep calm and call a snake catcher (google is great to find a local one!), keep an eye on the snake from a far and safe distance until the handler arrives.
If you suspect a snake has bitten your pet or they are showing any of the above clinical signs you must seek Veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY, even if they have ‘seemingly’ recovered.
Stay calm, keep your pet as still as possible and head straight to your local vet, have someone call them advising that you’re on the way so the Veterinarian can be prepared to look after your mate the second you walk in the door.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your fur kid and snakes.