If you own a dog and live in a part of the country that has venomous snakes, you must always be aware of the signs that your dog has suffered a snake bite. Venomous snake bites can be very serious for dogs, particularly those that are small. While there are various things that you can do to minimize the likelihood of your pet encountering a snake, it's important to take action if you realize a snake bite has occurred. A trip to a local animal hospital will give an emergency veterinarian a chance to treat the wound in a timely manner. Here are some signs that a snake has bitten your dog.
One of the easiest ways to determine that your dog has a snake bite injury is if you can see two puncture wounds. When a large, venomous snake bites anything, it often leaves these punctures behind. If you notice that your dog is paying special attention to a particular part of its body or you see signs of blood, carefully part the dog's fur around the area and take note of the condition of the skin. If you see two puncture wounds, make sure to call your local pet hospital as quickly as possible to explain the situation.
One of the concerns about a venomous snake bite is the damage that the venom can cause to the dog's skin. Tissue damage might not immediately be apparent, but can occur in the hours that follow the bite. If you aren't aware of the bite soon after it happens, you may be startled to realize that the dog has an injury with significant tissue damage. The skin can almost appear to be rotting away from the dog's body, often causing infection and an unpleasant odor.
Dogs are often in distress after a venomous snake bite, which can cause them to act unusually in several different ways. You might see that your dog is shaking, for example, or it might appear very tentative and unhappy — likely with its tail between its legs. Some dogs may also whimper or seek to avoid members of your family. It's also common for the dog to seem weak. It may have trouble getting up from its bed or walking any short distance. If you notice these unusual changes in your dog's behavior, as well as one or more additional snake bite indicators, contact an emergency vet.