Don't Go Near There! 4 Steps To Take If Your Dog Is Bit By A Rattle Snake This Summer

Now that the weather has warmed up, snakes are starting to make an appearance. Early in the morning, and late in the evening, snakes will come out to sun themselves, which means you'll usually be able to see them – or hear the distinctive rattle – in time to move away. During the hottest part of the day, snakes will typically hide under rocks or brush to keep cool. That's usually the time of day when dogs are more likely to get bitten by venomous snakes; they tend to poke around in the brush. If you're going to be hitting the hiking trails with your dog, you need to know what to do if your dog is bitten by a venomous snake.

Remove the Collar

As soon as your dog is bitten, the affected area will begin to swell. Most dogs are bitten around the face, or neck, which are the areas you'll first notice the swelling. To prevent suffocation, you'll need to remove your dog's collar as soon as possible. Doing so will prevent it from closing off your dog's airway once its neck swells.

Keep It Calm

Your dog is going to be frightened after it's been bitten. It's important that you keep it as calm as possible. Agitation will make your dog's heart beat faster, which will allow the venom to circulate through the body faster. Lay your dog down and speak soothingly, until it calms down. Once it's calm, you should gently pick it up and get to the car. When you're safely in the car, place your dog on the seat and continue to encourage it to lay down.

Cool It Down

Heat can also speed up the circulation of the venom through your dogs body. You need to cool your dog down as quickly as possible. Turn the air conditioner on in your car, and point the vents directly towards your dog. If you have ice packs on you, place them on the snake bites. It's important that you keep your dog as cool as possible.

Get to the Veterinarian

Once you have your dog calm and cool, you'll need to head to the veterinarian or animal hospital. If possible, call ahead and let them know that your dog has been bitten by a rattlesnake. Try to give them a description of the snake that bit your dog. This will help them provide your dog with the proper treatment once you arrive.