Snake Bites

Snakes can bite any part of a dog’s body, but it’s usually on the head, neck or legs. The damage done depends on the type of snake (some are more venomous than others), the amount of venom injected, and the part of the dog’s body that’s bitten. In general, the closer to the heart, the more dangerous the bite.

Snake venoms often cause a combination of serious effects, including vomiting, shaking or twitching of the muscles, sudden weakness followed by collapse, blood in the urine, dilated pupils unresponsive to light, paralysis or anaphylaxis – a severe life threatening allergic reaction to the venom.

If you think that your dog might have been bitten by a snake you should immobilise them, try to keep them calm and get them to a vet as fast as possible (carry them if you can). If you can identify the snake or remember its colour and size, it will help your vet determine which anti-venom to use.

Dogs are born hunters and curious by nature. As a result, they often cross paths with snakes, whether in the country, around places like lakes, beaches and bushland, or in the city. In Australia, the biggest threat is posed by Tiger Snakes and Brown Snakes, usually in the warmer months when the snakes aren’t hibernating. While you can’t monitor your dog 24 hours a day, you can reduce the risk of snake bites by avoiding unsupervised, off-lead walks in high-risk areas especially during hot months.