We’ve seen a few reports recently from folks who have spotted snakes during their strolls through Overton Park. Pictures suggest at least some of these snakes are copperheads, a common North American pit viper known to strike almost immediately if they feel threatened. Though venomous, their bite is painful but rarely fatal. However, the degree of damage can vary depending on the age of the snake, the depth of the fang penetration, location of the bite and the size of your dog.
Dogs – and cats, for that matter – can be bitten anywhere, but often it’s on the muzzle or a limb. The puncture wounds may be difficult to see, so check for areas of swelling to locate the bite site. A non-venomous snake bite will cause swelling, leave visible puncture wounds with some bleeding, pain at the puncture site and possibly infection. A bite from a venomous snake may cause tremors; excessive salivation; rapid, shallow breathing; obvious tissue damage; vomiting; dilated pupils; weakness; or even paralysis.
Whether you witness the snake striking or suspect a snake bite based on symptoms, do not hesitate to get your pet medical attention ASAP. A vet will clean the wounds and determine the appropriate course of treatment. If your dog requires antivenom, know that it is most effective within 6 hours of the bite. Time is crucial, but prompt treatment will increase the odds of a positive outcome.
If your regular veterinarian is not available, seek an emergency clinic to administer care to your furry kid. Memphis Animal Emergency is open when most veterinary clinics are not – after hours, weekends and holidays – to ensure you never have to wait unnecessarily to get the urgent care your pet needs. Our experienced staff is always available to provide the compassionate care your pet deserves.