July 17, 2011 Red Rock Biologics estimates that 150,000 cats and dogs are bitten by venomous snakes every year. And most of these accidents happen during the warm summer months when snakes are most active. Also remember, that a snake can still be for up to 30 minutes after death even if it was decapitated.
In the United States there are 2 families of venomous snakes. The Elapids, which include coral snakes, cobras, mambas, kraits, and the tiger snake. Elapids are found mostly in the southwestern United States.
The second family is the Vipers. Vipers include rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads. Vipers are found all over the United States and account for 99% of all dog bites.
Signs of Snake Bites in Dog
Dogs normally are bitten on the face or front legs by snakes. Signs of snake bites in dogs include swelling, fang marks, bruising, and pain. Remember that young snakes and large snakes are the most venomous.
A snake bite is a veterinary emergency, so try to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. It is recommended that you don’t apply a tourniquet or try to suck out the venom. The best thing to do is to minimize your dog’s exertions until you get to the veterinary clinic.
At the veterinary clinic your vet will likely perform a CBC, urinalysis, and coagulation panel on your dog. Common medications for dog snake bites includes IV fluids to correct potential hypotension, antivenin vials, diphenhydramine, corticosteroids, and antibiotics to prevent any secondary bacterial infections.
Red Rock Vaccine for Dogs
Red Rock Biologics’ vaccine is made to protect against the western diamondback, the sidewinder, timber rattlesnake, massasauga and the copperhead.
This vaccine also provides some protection against bites from the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
Dogs that live in high risk areas are recommended to get the vaccine. Especially those dogs that are outdoors a lot. But bites can even happen in subdivisions
Red Rock Biologics recommends that your dog get boostered one month after the initial vaccination. Then the recommend boostering interval varies depending on your dog’s risk level. Talk to your veterinarian to determine this.
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