Snake Bite on Dogs: Procedure, Symptoms, and Snake Identification

snake bite dog

Keep your dog still and calm. Carry him to your vehicle carefully, the least blood circulation as possible.

Call your nearest Vet Clinic to notify that your dog has been bitten and that you require immediate assistance. Call ahead so the vet is prepared for you.

The nearest Vet Clinic with supplies of anti-venom is:

Ivanhoe Vet Clinic
51 Upper Heidelberg Road
Open 8:30 am to 7:00 pm Monday-Friday and 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Saturdays
94993691

ivanhoe veterinary clinic map location

 

The nearest out of hours vet clinic with supplies of anti-venom is:

Centre for Animal Referral & Emergency
5 Hood St, Collingwood (just off Hoddle St)
94176417

 

Snake Bite Symptoms on Dogs

Always be aware of the signs of a snake bite. Some are:

  • flat
  • lethargic
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • blood in the urine

If you are concerned, take your dog directly to the vet as time is extremely important.

Most of the snakes sited here in the Parklands are Tiger Snakes but Brown Snakes have also been seen. Please remember we share this environment with snakes, they generally live around waterways (and backyards) that have mice or rats and frogs as this is their food source. Throughout the warmer months (September to March) keep your dog out of long grass, keep it on a lead if it is likely to chase a snake, and stick to tracks and open areas. Most animals recover from snake bites if treated appropriately.

Please remember we share this environment with snakes, they generally live around waterways (and backyards) that have mice or rats and frogs as this is their food source.

 

Identification

Common Tiger Snake

tiger snake

Common Tiger Snake

The common tiger snake has a flat, blunt head, slightly distinct from a robust body. Its body is capable of being flattened along its entire length when the snake is agitated or basking. Its average length is 0.9 m,with a maximum length of 1.2 m, but has been recorded at 2.0 m (or ~6.6 ft). Highly variable in colour, its base colours are brown, grey olive, or green with lighter crossbands usually of creamy yellow. Occasionally, unbanded specimens are found. Scales appear like overlapping shields, especially around the neck.

A dog bitten by a tiger snake tends to react immediately, becoming agitated and hyperactive. Not long after, the dog will most likely collapse, its tongue hanging out and the breathing becomes laboured.

 

brown snake

Eastern Brown Snake

Eastern Brown Snake

The adult eastern brown snake is a slender snake up to 2 m (7 ft) long with variable upperparts that can be various shades of brown, ranging from pale brown to almost black. Its underside is pale cream-yellow, often with orange or grey splotches

The Brown snake has slow-acting venom. This means that the dog will likely not react quickly but will display signs of progressive paralysis of its back legs, with paralysis then creeping forwards. The paralysis takes over and the dog’s tongue will loll out, some frothing at the mouth may be apparent and the dog will become lethargic, with its pupils not responding to light.

 

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