BE SNAKE AWARE THIS SPRING/SUMMER
Spring has sprung on the south coast. We all welcome the change to warmer weather, so do our native reptiles.
Snakes and other reptiles hibernate through the cold winter and venture out as the weather warms. Snakes are a normal part of living in Australia and we all need to be snake aware when enjoying the outdoors. At Albion Park and Gerringong Vets, we see snake bites in dogs and cats at this time, each year. The most common venomous snake species we see in our area, coming into contact with our pets, is the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus).
R & A Williams. "Red-bellied Black Snake" © Australian Museum
We can take steps to discourage snakes onto our properties: Keep your lawns mowed and gardens tidy Keep your property free of rubbish and clutter Control rats and mice. You can limit your pet’s contact with snakes by keeping them in a contained yard close to the house (if you are on a large property). Do not let your pet off leash in natural bush areas close to rivers and creeks. Keep your pets inside at night. Signs of black snake bite in dogs and cats include vomiting, sudden weakness progressing to collapse, shaking, dilated pupils, bleeding from nose or mouth and blood in urine. Australian snakes are protected species. Red-bellied Black Snakes have been seen to eat other venomous snakes such as Tiger snakes and Brown snakes. If you see a snake in your yard or out on a walk, stand still and allow the snake time to move away. Snakes cannot strike beyond their body length. Never chase or attempt to catch and kill a snake. You are more likely to be bitten. What should you do if your pet has killed a snake? Wear gloves and double bag the dead snake for identification. Ring us at Albion Park Vets on 4256 3638 or Gerringong Vets on 4234 1317 and bring your pet immediately to the clinic. If this occurs after hours, ring either Albion Park or Gerringong Vets and our messaging service will direct you to the Emergency mobile number for our On Call Veterinarian. On weekends, we are open at Gerringong Vets Saturdays from 9am until 12pm and our Albion Park Veterinary Hospital is OPEN until 4pm on Saturdays and 10am until 4pm on Sundays.
If your pet shows any of the above signs and you are unsure if they have been bitten by a snake, we will give your pet a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to determine whether a bite has occurred. For more information, do not hesitate to call our caring team on 4256 3638 (AP)
4234 1317 (GG)
References: https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/reptiles/red-bellied-black-snake/ https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/my-pet-has-been-bitten-by-a-snake-what-should-i-do/