Benalla Veterinary Clinic is warning pet owners to be aware that snakes are out and about in Benalla and to keep an eye out for symptoms in your four-legged friend.
Dr Ellie Duncan said the clinic had not had a pet come in with a snake bite yet this year, but they had received calls reporting snake sightings in popular dog-walking areas.
‘‘Generally you will see snakes in long grass or piles of wood or rubbish,’’ Dr Duncan said.
‘‘They can be in a backyard, or you will see them out walking, so the advice is to stay vigilant.
‘‘Make sure animals are on leads, avoid long grass and we recommend keeping yards clean and tidy, remove wood piles from near the house and keep the grass short.’’
Dr Duncan said if you thought a snake had bitten your pet, remain calm and contact a vet immediately, do not attempt to move or kill the snake.
‘‘If you do see a snake when you are with your pet, stop, be calm and try not to panic,’’ she said.
‘‘Keep your pet as far from it as possible and walk away slowly keeping your eye on the snake, so you don’t run into it again.
‘‘Remember, killing snakes is illegal and for your own safety do not go near it, just keep an eye on it and contact a professional to remove it.
‘‘The clinic recommends a local snake catcher, Dave Wilkinson, he can be reached on 0477427246.’’
If you are unsure if your pet has been attacked there are six signs to look out for:
●Sudden weakness or collapse;
●Tremors of muscles and shaking;
●Vomiting and drooling;
●Blood in urine; and/or
If you see any of these symptoms in your pet call a vet immediately, if it is out of hours Benalla Veterinary Clinic has an out-of-hours vet.
Phone the clinic on 57622788 and the call will divert to the on-call vet’s mobile phone, leave a message and you will be contacted as quickly as possible.
The vet will determine a course of treatment and a blood test will be required to assist with the diagnosis.
Your pet is likely to be hospitalised and the treatment will include intravenous fluid therapy, antivenom will be administered and a variety of medications will be used to treat pain, prevent infection and deal with shock.
Recovery from a snake bite can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week or more.
Prompt veterinary attention is the most reliable course of action to save your pet.
Vitamin C and other anecdotal treatments are not recommended, as there is no scientific data to support their use.