The warm weather has started and just as we and our pets are getting more active, so too are the deadly Tiger and Brown snakes. Our clinic generally sees several pets bitten by snakes each year, with the western suburbs home to both types of snake. Cats and dogs are both at risk of being bitten as snakes may be found in suburban back yards or while out walking in long grass or around rivers. Snake bite is a life threatening emergency and veterinary attention should be sought immediately. Initial signs include vomiting, weakness and collapse. The pets pupils may become large and dilated and they may have trouble breathing. Red urine may be seen as the snake venom causes severe muscle and kidney damage.

Snake bite is a life threatening emergency so take your pet to the nearest veterinary clinic or emergency centre. Urgent treatment for shock is needed including iv fluids and oxygen. Vials of anti-venom need to be administered as soon as possible to give the best chance of survival. Recovery may require a lengthy stay in hospital. Avoiding snakes can be difficult however it is best to keep the grass short in your yard and keep dogs on lead when walking on warm days.