As snakes hibernate or are inactive during cold weather, snake envenomation usually occur in the summer months, but the season can extend from spring through to autumn, depending on weather conditions. Australia has a large number of venomous snakes but the tiger snake and brown snake account for the majority of snake bites in domestic pets throughout Victoria. Whilst we are lucky to be located in the beautiful ‘green belt’ of Melbourne we do unfortunately treat many cases of snake envenomation each year at our clinics.
Dogs are inquisitive by nature so when exercising them in bushland (particularly near water) or near beach dunes during the warmer months of the year, it’s always best to keep them on a leash.
Cats are naturally born to hunt and stalk anything that moves. This unfortunately can lead to an unpleasant end, if he/she encounters a snake.
Its best to keep your backyard clear of long grass, and remove any piles of rubbish. This will help to reduce the number of hiding spots for snakes to reside in. Compost heaps and chickens can attract rodents which in turn can then attract snakes, so pest management is important.
When a snake bites, it injects venom via the fangs into the tissue below the skin. Venom is rapidly absorbed from the site of the bite and carried mainly by the lymphatic system into the animals circulation. Snake venom carries a large range of toxins that damage tissues and impair many of the body’s vital functions; they attack nerves and muscles, and interfere with the body’s clotting mechanisms.