Atascadero Pet Hospital

May 20, 2014 9:45 PM by Atascadero Pet Hospital

Rattlesnake Bites

Enjoying the outdoors this April through October means learning how to avoid contact with rattlesnakes. Rattlesnake bites normally occur if the snake is provoked or threatened and does not have enough room to retreat from the danger. Many curious dogs get bit in the nose or face for this reason. Most venom is hemotoxic which means it will disrupt blood vessels. Acute painful swelling at the bite site is usually dramatic and uncontrolled bleeding may occur. The Mojave rattlesnake venom is neurotoxic and can cause paralysis of the muscles used for breathing therefore causing suffocation.

A rattlesnake vaccine does not prevent the need for emergency veterinary attention if your pet is bit. The faster you seek care, the more effective treatment is. Treatment may include iv fluids, antivenin, antihistamines, pain medications, antibiotics, and blood transfusions. Do not try to suck out the venom.

A few tips to help avoid rattlesnake bites while enjoying the outdoors: 1. stay on designated hiking trails 2. keep dogs on a leash during hikes 3. stay away from tall grass, wood piles, and rocks.

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