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Posted on 03-23-2017

March Is Snake Bite Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, up to 8,000 people and an estimated 150,000 companion animals suffer from snake bites each year. A single snake bite puts your pet at risk of death. Central Florida's lakes and rivers create an environment where wildlife, including snakes, thrive. Central Florida is home to many types of snakes including four types of venomous snakes: the Florida cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the dusky pygmy rattlesnake, and the eastern coral snake. March is snake bite awareness month to draw attention to this important issues.

March Is Snake Bite Awareness Month. Econ River Animal Hospital, serving Sanford and Orlando, provides emergency services for snake bite and other pet emergencies.

Snake Bites in Pets: What to Look For?

The most challenging aspects of pet care can be the animal's lack of ability to report what has happened. Should your pet encounter a snake while outside alone and sustain a bite, your cat or dog cannot tell you what happened. As a pet owner, you know that observation is an important part of your pet's care. If you notice any of the following symptoms, your pet may have sustained a snake bite:

  •   abrupt changes in behavior
  • lethargy
  • a visible wound weeping venom or blood
  • weakness
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

These symptoms may be a sign of snake bite or some other medical condition. Either way, these symptoms require immediate medical attention by a veterinarian to assess the problem and render immediate, proper care. 

What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Pet Has Sustained a Snake Bite?

A snake bite is a medical emergency. If you witnessed the snake bite, be sure to communicate a clear description of the snake to the veterinarian. Not every snake is venomous and not every venomous snake delivers venom with every bite. A good description of the snake, if available, will give the veterinarian a starting point for care. You should not attempt to render first aid at home other than limiting the pet's activity and transporting it immediately to a veterinary hospital. 

Even if you know the snake is not venomous, you should still seek immediate care. The veterinarian can clean and dress the wound. The veterinarian may suggest keeping the animal for a period of medical observation. 

Econ River Animal Hospital, serving Sanford and Orlando, provides emergency services for snake bite and other pet emergencies. During business hours contact us at 407-568-0724. After business hours contact the emergency clinic at 407-644-4449.

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