Longer days and warmer temperatures means summer is finally getting here! Before you and your pets rush out to enjoy the warm weather, make sure you are familiar with the summer danger of poisonous snakebites. There are 20 species of venomous snakes in North America and they are found in every state except Alaska, Hawaii and Maine. Venomous snakes bite around 150,000 dogs and cats in the United States each year. Do you know what you can you do to protect your pets? Dogs are typically bitten on the head and face while cats are often bitten on the legs, paws or body. Initial signs and symptoms are pain, rapid swelling and may or may not have presence of fang marks. Within 1-3 hours pets may also become depressed, febrile, vomit, have trouble breathing, have low blood pressure, have a rapid heart rate, develop bruising around the bite mark and have bleeding problems and may lead to death. The sooner treatment is initiated the better the prognosis. If you think your pet was bitten, take them to a veterinarian immediately. Do not wait for signs to appear before seeking veterinary help. Need help identifying Kentucky 's #1 venomous snake, the Copperhead? Click here: rainyadventures.com/identify-copperhead-snake/
Slug and snail bait products, which typically contain the active ingredient metaldehyde, are available as a pellet, liquid, or powder. In order to attract snails and slugs molasses or brown sugar is added. Unfortunately, this also makes the bait highly attractive for our dogs and cats. Ingestion of even small quantities can be fatal. After ingestion, metaldehyde is converted to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is toxic to the nervous system and causes muscle tremors, ataxia (lack of coordination) and seizures. Increased muscle activity leads to hyperthermia (high body temperature): another common symptom. Metaldehyde toxicity can lead to disseminated intravascular coagulation, multiple organ failure, and death. Within minutes, poisoned animals may show clinical signs. Symptoms may also be delayed and later develop up to three hours after ingestion. Metaldehyde is also found in solid fuel for camping stoves. There is no antidote for metaldehyde. Treatment involves addressing the symptoms and helping the animal get rid of the toxin. Prognosis depends on the amount of toxin ingested and how much time passes before treatment is initiated. Without treatment animals can die within a matter of hours. The earlier treatment begins, the better the prognosis.
Toxicity signs include
Cathy-Licensed Vet tech with 28 year experience.