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I'm going through some of the docs I have on my pc and thought this may be of interest to some members. Snakebites occur more commonly in the warmer months of the year but they can occur all year round. Cats are very inquisitive and like to stalk and pounce on the snakes, often with deadly consequences. Although Cats are more resistant to the venom of snakebites than dogs and survival rates are generally higher, it is still advisable to contact your vet immediately if you suspect a snake has bitten your cat so anti-venom can be given. The type of anti-venom given depends on the type of snake but if the snake is not seen or identified the choice can be made on the geographical area, snake venom detection kits or several anti-venoms can be given. Hospitalisation will also be required for a few days to prevent dehydration and help keep the cat’s body temperature stable while it is paralysed. First aid includes keeping your pet quiet and applying a pressure bandage – just a firm bandage of any material over and around the bite site - if practical. Never apply a tourniquet, wash or cut the wound site. Symptoms of a snake bite Dilated pupils Muscle weakness Drooling Vomiting Diarrhea Rapid pulse Labored breathing Coma What to do if your cat is bitten by a snake? If possible, try to identify the snake. However, don't waste time trying to locate the snake. If the snake is still in the area, do not approach it. Have a look at it from a distance, and make a note of it's appearance including colour, patterns & length. Even if the snake is dead, do not touch it as a dead snake can still retain a reflexive action for up to an hour after death. Get your cat to the veterinarian immediately. On the way to the veterinarian do the following: Remove the cat's collar Keep the bitten area lower than the heart. Keep the cat quiet & calm. Immobilise the area if possible. Apply a pressure bandage between the bite & the heart. If there is no heartbeat or pulse, administer CPR. What NOT to do: Do NOT allow your cat to walk. Do NOT cut the bitten area. Do NOT attempt to suck the venom out of the bite. Do NOT apply a tourniquet. Keeping snakes out of your garden Again prevention is better than cure, try and keep snakes out of your garden, make your garden in to an environment which isn't attractive to snakes. Keep the garden free of long or overgrown plants. Keep the garden free of debris, such as corrugated iron, building materials, old junk etc. Keep your lawn short. Don't leave containers of water lying around. If you have a shed, keep it free or rodents. Remove fallen fruit from the ground as this encourages rodents, which will in turn encourage snakes. Avoid wood piles, especially in the summer months. If you do have a wood pile, make sure it is well away from your house & not accessible to your cats or children. Avoid rockeries, which provide an excellent habitat for snakes to hide.
Just a quick reminder to all Melburnians to be aware of snakes especially around pets. We have just had our neighbour come round to advise us that they found their dog dead this morning, after taking it to the vets they have been advised it died of a snake bite. It's strange because 3 days ago another dog on the same street took a turn for the worse and had to be PTS'd the vet thought it was a brain tumour but it makes you wonder whether that also could have been a bite. I must admit to being quite shocked and very upset I know we have snakes in the reserve at the end of the road but I have never seen them in the garden. Please if you have dogs keep your vigilance and try and deter snakes by keeping your grass cut short so there are no hiding places. Apparently phenol & naphthalene will deter snakes and they won't cross where it has been sprayed a cleaning product that contains both is Rinsewash. Also it may be worth keeping an injectable Vitamin C in the fridge and if your dog does get bit, inject immediately with the Vitamin C. Dogs of 30 to 50 kg will require about 10 - 15 mls by intramuscular injection in the side of the neck. You cannot overdose on Vitamin C and if you do give too much the worse that can happen is that the dog will get diarrohea, a small price to pay. then get the dog to the vets ASAP!!!!! I am not sure if you are aware but Vitamin C acts as a reducing agent, an oxidizing agent, an anti-clotting agent, an antihistamine, and as an anti-infective agent so therefore anaphylaxis does not occur once injected. Snake venom affects the nervous system which slows down until natural functions cease and death occurs. It can cause instant death but this isvery rare without the dog first showing symptoms which in turn lead to paralysis. When a dog has been bitten, their eyes will soon appear to look all black. That is the pupils have relaxed and dilated. Since snake bite can - and usually does - occur unwitnessed, if your dog slows down and becomes lethargic or distressed, do look at the eyes at once and even if they do not show much sign get on with the injection. If you can see the bite marks rub some Vitamin C in to the effected area, if you don't have the injectable vitamin c rub a crushed vit c tablet in to the area. Please don't waste time looking for the snake or bite marks. Your main concern is to get your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic as soon as possible, make sure you have an emergency number close by at all times, a lot of clinics close at night, so make sure you know your nearest 24 hour clinic, if your not sure which this will be let me know and I will give you the number for your closest one. I am sorry to be so morbid, and although snake bites do happen they are not usually common in built up areas, so please don't panic too much, just be aware of what to do if it does. A lot of walkers who go out in the bush carry Vitamin C with them at all times just in case.:sad: