Attention all pet owners! Here at WellPet Vets we have been inundated with pets that have been bitten by snakes. So far in September alone, we have treated 8 confirmed cases of snake bite at our WellPet Animal Hospitals. 50% of these pets were cats.

This time of year is repeatedly proven to be troublesome for pet owners. Warmer weather means an increase in snakes as they come out of hibernation. September and October mark the beginning of warmer weather. In turn people are also more likely to walk their dogs and cats are more likely to venture outside.  Please don’t assume that snakes will not venture into suburban yards. We have had reported cases of snakes in Glenmore park, Clairemont Meadows as well as Warrimoo and even Penrith.

On many occasions no snake is seen and the cause of your pets illness is not obvious. However, we have many ways of determining the likelihood of a snake bite, including blood tests as well as physical symptoms.

There is only one effective treatment for snake bite envenomation. That is the rapid administration of an appropriate quantity of  the correct anti-venom. Supportive care is also provided but without the anti-venom, chances of survival are much lower.

All the WellPet Animal Hospitals (Nepean, Mountains and St Clair) carry anti-venom for brown snakes, red bellied black snakes and tiger snakes. Should you have any reason to suspect your pet has been bitten by one of these snakes then you should attend one of our hospitals with your pet immediately.

As you know, we have vets and nurses on site at Nepean Animal Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So if you are unsure if your local vet is open please don’t delay and come to us at 50 Mulgoa Rd, Regentville or call us on 1300 WELLPET.

Most of the time dogs and cats are bitten on the face, (as they are usually attacking the snake). This means that traditional methods of slowing the speed of venom by using a pressure bandage are often impractical. The best thing to do is keep your pet as quiet as possible, carry them to a vehicle and drive directly to your nearest open veterinarian.

DO NOT try and kill or capture the snake. This is a dangerous waste of time. If you can see the snake then move away quickly. We do not need to see the snake to treat your pet, we can normally identify the species of snake involved from the symptoms being displayed by your pet. Brown snakes cause mainly muscle paralysis and red bellied black snakes cause mainly blood and tissue damage.

Remember if you are bitten by a snake, then who will bring your beloved pet to the vet??

If you do need to remove the snake then you can call WIRES (89773309) or even Australian Snake Catchers (Sean – 0410761575) to help.

This is an appropriate time to mention pet insurance. The treatment for a snake bite is expensive; due to the cost of the anti-venom and the critical care required. If you have pet insurance that covers these types of emergencies then you can focus on providing your pet with the best care, rather than worry about a costly vet bill.

For advise on trying to prevent your pets being bitten by snakes please call us or pop in at one of our hospitals for a chat.

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