The last few weeks we have seen an increase of venomous snake bites to animals here at the clinic. The warm temperatures have the snakes on the move. The Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake, Cotton Mouth also know as the Water Moccasin, Copperhead, Eastern Coral snake are just a few of the venomous snakes here in Georgia. The Eastern Diamondback being the most dangerous type of snake bit.
When your animal is bitten by a snake you need to get them to a vet immediately. The animal is going to have swelling around the two puncture wounds. The animal may experience nausea, vomiting, sudden weakness, shaking or twitching of the muscles, may have difficulty breathing. When you arrive at the vet with your animal they will assess the animal. They will begin IV fluids, take blood work. Some bite cases my require antivenom for treatment. Your animal may remain at the vet for a few days for treatment and observation.
A snake vaccine is available for dogs. The vaccine triggers the dog's immune system to create its own antibodies to the venom of a rattlesnake. In the case your dog was bitten by a snake it would help with its symptoms. Your animal still needs to seek immediate vet care even if it has had a snake vaccine.