Poor Leo presented to us last month when he was found to be suffering from a suspected snake bite. When he was seen by our team he was very flat, his temperature was incredibly low, he was unable to stand or lift his head and would collapse when he was lifted.
Leo was admitted into hospital and placed on an intravenous drip. He underwent a series of blood tests and we worked to increase his body temperature and provide adequate pain relief. He was stabilised within our hospital and was sent off to CARE that night where he remained for the next couple of weeks for further observations and monitoring.
When a snake bites an animal, it injects its venom via the fangs into the tissue below the skin. Venom is rapidly absorbed from the site of the bite and carried mainly by the lymphatic system into the animal's circulation. Snake venoms carry a large range of toxins that damage tissues and impair many of the body's vital functions; they attack the nervous system and interfere with the body's clotting mechanisms.
Dogs and cats are most often bitten around the head and limbs. Usually the closer the bite is to the heart the quicker the venom will be absorbed into the pet's system and distributed around the body.
At the beginning of summer, when snakes first come out, their venom glands tend to be fuller and their bites at this time are much more severe. The length of time that has passed since the snake last struck can also be a contributing factor.
The usual signs of snakebite by a tiger or brown snake are:
- Sudden weakness followed by collapse
- Shaking or twitching of the muscles
- Dilated pupils not responsive to light
- In the later stages paralysis may occur and your pet may have blood in his or her urine
Luckily Leo was brought into our clinic promptly and we were fortunately able to treat him and care for him accordingly.
As you can see, Leo is back to feeling like his normal self and we wish Leo and his family all the best. We are thrilled to see that he is now feeling much better!