Saving your pet’s life

Lort Smith Animal Hospital is urging pet carers to be on alert when walking their dogs in parks; and to keep an eye out in their backyards for snakes.

“With the warmer weather we are likely to start seeing more venomous snakes in suburbs across Melbourne. It’s really important that pet carers are vigilant,” said Dr Leanne Pinfold, Head Veterinarian – Emergency & Critical Care.

“Pet carers need to be aware of the typical signs of a snake bite as you may not see your pet get bitten,” added Dr Pinfold.

The signs of snake envenomation include: vomiting, salivation, dilated pupils and sudden weakness, followed by collapse.

“Snake bites can be fatal,” said Dr Pinfold. “If you believe your pet has been bitten, it is critical that you seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.”

Dr Pinfold warned pet carers against taking on the snake: “Under no circumstance should you attempt to kill or bring the snake into the clinic, as you may get bitten. We have tests to confirm snake bites.”

People can reduce the chance of their pet being bitten by:

  • Tidying up the backyard and reducing the number of places where snakes may hide, such as in long grass or underneath metal and timber scraps
  • Controlling vermin such as rats or mice that may attract snakes
  • Keeping dogs on leads during walks, particularly near long grass, bushland or creeks.

Lort Smith always has anti-venom on hand, and it is most effective if administered soon after the bite occurs.

With early detection of a snake bite, intense treatment and monitoring there is a good chance that your pet will survive a snake bite.

Visit our Need Help Now section for First Aid advice including snake bites.