It’s officially rattlesnake season, and encounters between venomous snakes and pets can happen outside of our control. That’s the unfortunate piece, but the good news is that understanding prevention techniques can reduce the chance of that happening, and knowing how to respond to a bite can save your furry friend’s life.
The experts at PETS Hospital in Orcutt, CA have helpful tips for both.
How to prevent rattlesnake bites
Of course, the safest way to treat a rattlesnake bite is just to make sure it doesn’t happen. PETS Hospital provides the following tips to help protect your pet from dangerous snakes:
DO take your pet to rattlesnake aversion training. It is advised as the most effective preventative method to teach your pets to avoid rattlesnake bites. Talk with your vet for more information about local training resources.
DON’T give your pet the rattlesnake vaccine without doing your research. Although there is one available, PETS Hospital recommends that you talk to your vet about this, since there are no independent safety and efficacy studies to prove that it is effective and safe.
DO stay on the lookout during hikes. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, most rattlesnake bites occur when the snake is provoked–usually by being stepped on or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing. If you see a rattlesnake while on a hike, hold your animal companion back and give the snake space to flee.
DO fence in your yard. Rattlesnake encounters can occur in neighborhoods as well as on trails. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that the best method to keep snakes out of your backyard is rattlesnake-proof fencing, which can be installed to deter snake entrances.
How to treat rattlesnake bites
In the case that a bite does occur, PETS Hospital shares the do’s and dont’s a pet owner needs to know:
DO take your pet to the nearest animal hospital immediately, as soon as you realize he or she has been bitten. If you notice that your pet’s face, leg or paw seems swollen, painful or bruised, seek medical attention immediately.
DON’T give your pet any medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. This can contribute to a life-threatening clotting disorder during the bite.
DON’T attempt to treat the bite by cutting or sucking the venom out.
If handled properly, pets will recover fully after a rattlesnake bite. PETS Hospital is located at 4854 S Bradley R Suite 109 in Orcutt, CA. The hospital is open 24 hours a day and is fully prepared to treat a bite of any kind.
With these tips, you’re fully prepared to get out there and enjoy the warm weather with your animal friend!