Dr Daniel Gerrard, Yass Valley Veterinary

With the warmer weather kicking in earlier than normal this year the snakes are already well and truly on the move. We have already had snake bites admitted to Yass Valley Veterinary. These are always an emergency and we need to see your pet straight away if you think it has been bitten.

Snakes and snake bites are a common occurrence in regional Australia, with Eastern Brown and Red-bellied Black snakes being the most common species responsible for bites in Yass and surrounds.

If you think a snake has bitten your pet, you should try to keep them as calm and quiet as possible and get them to the vet as quickly as possible.

Dr Daniel Gerrard – Veterinarian

Colleague Dr Tamara Butler added “When a clearly effected pet comes in with a snake bite it is ALL HANDS ON DECK and it really helps us if you have an idea of what type of snake has bitten your animal. As a vet it is one of the most stressful situations we come across so if everyone is able to remain calm and get the correct information it can make our job a little bit easier and assist us in saving your pets life,” advised Dr Butler.

Dr Tamara Butler – Veterinarian

The severity of the clinical signs can vary greatly and depends on the species of snake and the dose of venom delivered in the bite. Symptoms to watch for if you think your pet has been bitten by a snake.

Brown snake:

Collapse + apparent recovery in dogs, floppy paralysis (especially in cats)

Weakness / unsteady in back legs / shaking

Dilated pupils

Vomiting/diarrhoea

Breathing difficulty

Typically, a RAPID onset of clinical signs – 5 minutes to 4 hours

If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a brown snake call us immediately and head straight in.

Black Snake:

Clinical signs your dog has been bitten by a Red Belly.

Dark / wine coloured urine

Flat / lethargic

Vomiting / Diarrhoea

Swelling/bruising/oozing from the bite site

Painful when touched

Typically, a SLOWER onset of clinical signs – 5 minutes – 24 hours

If you are at all concerned that your pet may have been bitten please call Yass Valley Veterinary on (02) 6226 4444 or Murrumbateman on (02) 6227 5955.