Signs and symptoms of a snake bite include swelling, bleeding, extreme pain, weakness and shortness of breath, according to WebMD. Bitten dogs may also experience low blood pressure, renal failure or dead tissue surrounding the wound.
Snakes are typically most active from March to October, leading to frequent occurrences of snake bites during these months, states WebMD. To lower a pet’s risk of being bitten, owners should remove undergrowth, tools, and toys in the yard; clear shrubs and flowers in walkways; and immediately clean spilled foods, especially fruits and seeds that serve as food for rodents, which are prey of snakes. Moreover, a dog should be kept on a leash when outdoors. It is also important to research the types of snakes that commonly appear in the area. Veterinarians can provide better treatment if the pet owner identifies the kind of snake that bit her dog.
In case of a snake bite, WebMD advises pet owners to remain calm and restrict the activity of their pets to keep the animals calm. The animal’s collar should be removed if it was attacked on the neck, and the bitten area should be positioned below heart level if possible. Owners should bring the dog to a veterinarian immediately and refrain from applying treatments such as cold packs, alcohol or tourniquets. Snake bites from either venomous or nonvenomous snakes require urgent treatment, as they can be fatal to animals.