Categories
Health Outdoor & Travel Training

Snake Bite in Dogs – Prevention, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Snake bites on dogs can either lead to death or affect your dog’s life negatively. Snake attack dogs more than other domestic animals in the world and the fatality rate is alarming. Poisonous serpents and lizards are found in most parts of the United States but very prominent in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama.

Puppies are naturally curious and are usually victims on there the first encounter with these serpents. Bites from nonpoisonous snakes are painful but not fatal. It can only cause infection, inflammation, redness, and numbness. But bite from a venomous snake is so potent that the puppy would be dead in less than an hour unless first aid treatment for a snake bite is administered before that time frame.

Over 10,000 people are bitten annually by venomous snakes in the US. The fatalities are kept well under 100 thanks to anti-venom and modern medicine. Most dogs aren’t so lucky, their owners don’t know that they have been bitten until it’s too late. 

In this article, I’m gonna teach you how to protect your dogs from snakes, how to know when your dog has been bitten by a venomous snake, first aid for snakebite in dogs and best ways to keep snakes away from your homes. The content of this post is not just applied to dogs. It also works for humans, cats, and other pets.

Snakes In The United States

Snakes In The United States

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles that have adapted over the years to live comfortably in any type of habitat & climate from swamps to deserts, marshes, forests, savanna, and grasslands. Being cold-blooded, snakes can’t regulate their body temperatures, so they seek out warm places above trees, rocks, burrows, or bushes and even in our homes. They slitter in a freely into our homes like they own the place and find the warmest places to relax.

Snakes bites usually occur after winter. When the snow has melted and the sun is shining brighter in spring, early fall or summer. They have been brumating [medical term for “hibernation” in snakes] and fasting for months. So when the snow melts, they like to get their fangs on whatever they can humans, rats or our furry four-legged friends.

There are 2 types of snakes: venomous and non-venomous serpents.

Venomous Snakes

The venomous snake poses the greatest threat to dogs. There are close to 30 species of venomous snakes in the United States alone. They are classified into Crotalids and Elapidae. Some of the most notorious kinds of venomous snakes in the USA are rattlesnakes, pit vipers, copperheads, the eastern coral snake, and cottonmouths.

Venomous snakes possess a large number of toxins that cause tissue damage and destroy the nervous system. When a snake bites a dog, human or any other animal, it injects venom from two hollow fangs directly into the tissue. Once the venom is absorbed, It is carried into the system by the lymphatic system around the body, making death certain within an hour.

Non Venomous Snakes

Just because they are non-venomous doesn’t mean that they are not dangerous. I believe non-venomous snakes pose more threats to dogs especially little puppies and growing dogs. Non-venomous snakes are usually bigger and stronger then venomous snakes.

These types of snakes kill by constriction. Meaning your puppy might have gone to the garden to ease himself and never come back. You may think that he ran away but sadly, he may have been attacked by one. Some of the most notable non-venomous snakes are pythons, garter snakes, bull snakes, boas, kingsnakes, black racers and of course anacondas.

Not all non-venomous snakes are constrictors. Some smaller species can’t aren’t big enough to constrict a dog, so they have toxic bites that aren’t deadly. Although not deadly, these bites can cause severe pain, itching, inflammation, and dizzyness to dogs.

Why Do Snakes bite dogs?

Why do snake bite dog

Envenomation is a medical/veterinary term used to describe snake bites in dogs. Snakes usually attack when they are threatened or provoked. This means that a snake would only attack your dog because he did not thread around it cautiously, he attacked the snake, or was too curious to find out was it was.

Population density and other human activity affect the rate of snakebites worldwide. You see, with the constant rise of urbanization, people are moving into places that were once thick forest and popular snake habitat/breeding grounds.

Once a new family moves to this place, encounters with these serpents are very common and from time to time, the dogs or his puppy would get attacked by a snake. 

Symptoms of Snakes bite on dogs

Effect of snake bites on dogs
Swelling caused by snake bites

When your dog is attacked by a snake, you may not notice because he can just walk up to you and say “Help! Help! I’ve been bitten by a rope”. He would usually feel bad, run to his bed and lay down. You have to be observant to know when your dog has been bitten by a serpent.

Identifying the species of snake is one of the best ways to start a snake bite diagnosis on dogs and save the life of your dog. With a proper diagnosis, you can easily identify if the bites on the dog are fatal or harmless.

As a good pet owner, you should know when your dog’s behavior changes. The effect of the snake venom on the dog’s system is active almost immediately.

The symptoms of snakebite on dogs usually appear within 20 minutes and 1 hour after the dog was bitten, depending on the snake that attacked him, the specie of snake and the toxicity of its venom. These are the general symptoms of snake bites on dogs:

  • Fang marks
  • Swelling around the bite area
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bleeding from the bite area
  • Diarrhea, Nausea, trembling, shaking/twitching of muscles
  • General body pain and Sudden weakness(tetraparesis)
  • Respiratory problem 
  • Excessive salivation and foaming around the mouth (ptyalism)
  • Paralysis
  • Drop-in blood pressure & collapse
  • Itching/weakness of the muscles (ataxia).
  • Dilated pupils not responsive to light.
  • Blood in the urine.

When your dog gets bitten by a snake, it would be awesome if you know the snake that bit your dog, this allows the vet to administered anti-venom early & properly. Dog bitten by venomous snakes will die if anti-venom is not administered on time.

When your dog gets bitten by a non-venomous snake, the wound is not a big deal. It wounds only become infected if it is not treated. In general, these are the major difference in bites between venomous and non-venomous snakes.

Non-venomous snake

 Venomous snake

  • Multiple bite marks around the wound
  • Profuse bleeding from the wound
  • Minor pain around the bite area
  • Shaking and dizzyness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Muscle damage (necrosis)
  • Tissue damage
  • Bleeding from the wound site

 

How to Treat a Snake Bite on a Dog

Untreated snake bites are the most fatal. Approximately 80% of pets in the United States survive a snake bite if they received proper treatment in time. A prompt response is important when dealing with a snake bite in dogs. 

There is not much that you can do when your dog is bitten by a venomous snake. The best thing you can do is to rush your dog to a vet and try to identify/recognize the specie of snake that attacked him.

As a good dog parent, you should also try to memorize all the symptoms of the envenomation on your dog and seek medical attention from a vet as fast as possible.

There are also some recommended first aid treatments that can be administered for snake bites in dogs. If you can’t get to a proper health center in time, the best first aid you can administer is to make sure your dog remains calm and motionless.

  • This slows down his heartbeat and the movement of the venom. You should also remove his collar or harness to allow free airways movement. You should also on the car AC and carry him to the car, from the car, and into the theatre.
  • The limit is movement as much as you can. You can also get a rope or cord and tie the area above the bite mark to restrict blood movement and slow down the spread of venom.
  • When administering first aid treatment to a bitten by a snake, you should not apply ice, slash the wound ope ad attempt to suck the venom, apply tourniquet, alcohol or pain killer.

Veterinary Treatment For Snake Bites 

Veterinary treatment for snake bites varies depending on how severe the case is, symptoms & specie of snake. Treatment for envenomation usually involves the administration of antivenom, oxygen supplementation, antivenene, and intravenous fluids to neutralize the effect of the snake venom in the dog’s system. 

How To Prevent Snake Bites in Dogs

There is no foolproof way to prevent snake bites in dogs, but there are simple steps you can take to reduce attack around your home. Taking these delicate procedures doesn’t just protect your dog from snake bites, It also protects you, your family and any other pet that you have.

These are the best way to prevent snake bites in dogs:

  • The best way to prevent snake bites in dogs is to keep a close eye on him especially in areas where there have been sightings of venomous snakes. Some of the most common places where dogs get bitten by snakes are backyard, hiking trails, campsites, riverbeds, bushes, and gardens.
  • Always be alert when you go out with your dog in any of these places. When you are around snake-infested areas, wear boots and carry your dog. DO NOT put your hands inside holes in rocks, woodpiles, and deep grass.
  • Dogs are naturally inquisitive. When exercising them in a snake-infested area, always use a leash.
  • Over 46% of snake bites occur when they are provoked. When you see a snake, Keep a 6ft distance between you/your dog and the snake. If you see the snake trying to attack your dog. DO NOT try to catch or kill the snake [some species of snakes are protected by the states], you may end up getting bitten.

Even if you kill the snake, do not pick it up with your hands. The head of a snake can stay alive for up to an hour after the body has been severed.

  • One of the best ways to prevents snake bites is to know the snakes in the area. You can look up the most dangerous snakes in Africa, the USA, or Australia, understand their behaviors, characteristics and then take preventive measures.
  • Keep your backyard, lawn, garden clean, your grasses of short, and remove all garbage bin stay too close to the house. This will reduce hiding spots for snakes.
  • If you have a garden, consider planting snake/reptile deterring plants like Marigolds, Andrographis Paniculata, Indian Snakeroot, or West Indian Lemongrass. These plants are not toxic to dogs.
  • Install snake fencing. A snake fence is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent and reduce snake bites around the home.

What do I do if I find a deadly snake?

Instead of looking for a big stick to kill it and put your life in danger, the best course of action is to contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) on (08) 9219 9000 or (08) 9474 9055 for a free Snake Removal Service.

In conclusion, as a good pet owner, you should try as much as you can to keep your pet and family safe from these dangerous serpents. If you stay in areas where snakes and humans come in close contact, you should keep your eyes peeled for snakes wandering about especially around noon. When the temperatures reach about 56º or higher.

Have this article helped you? If would be nice to let others know about it and keep safe. Use any of the share buttons below to give it to a friend that needs to protect their dogs from snakes.

 

Categories
Psychology Training

Why Dogs Run Away  

Over 70 million stray animals are living in the United States, and dogs make up 14% of this figure. Almost 10 million stray dogs are running around in the U.S. and most shelters can’t accommodate more than 4,000.

Most dogs accidentally run away from home and end up becoming strays. Stray or street dogs are pets/animals that are lost, have strayed from home or are allowed to roam freely by their owners, some have never been owned.

Stray dogs may be purebreds, mixed-breed dogs, or unbred and can be a major problem in the society where they stay due to overpopulation. I’ve always been a big fan of dogs, seeing stray dogs breaks my heart. These “unwanted” dogs are left on the streets to feed for themselves and end up contracting diseases, cold and sometimes die due to the harsh conditions, environmental hazards, violence or poising.

There isn’t a month that goes by without hearing a report or two about missing dogs in a particular neighborhood. There are hundreds of posters and banners by the streets or on Facebook with images of the dogs and sad messages, some even over rewards. This is usually a devastating time for pet owners. Some dogs are found as soon as the banners are posted, while others are never found. So, why do dogs run away from home?

Why do dogs run away from home?

Over 80% of stray dogs die because they lack basic survival skills. The reason why dogs run away still baffles me, even if you are a bad pet owner. They have loyalty in their genes. But I’ve been able to come up with 5 good reasons why dogs run away. These reasons best explain why dogs run away:

  1. Abuse & Neglect

Sadly, some dogs run away because of abuse and neglect from owners. People also get rid of their dogs because they always attack guests or the mailman, they soil the carpet, chew $100 running shoes, destroy couches, and litter the home. They neglect and abuse the dog receive a day may be too much to bear, this makes moving out seem like his best option for survival.

There is a reason why there are so many unwanted dogs out on the streets. Most times, it is because the owners of these dogs don’t value them. Other times, it’s because they find these dogs hard to train or control.

There is a reason why there are so many unwanted dogs out on the streets. Most times, it is because the owners of these dogs don’t value them. Other times, it’s because they find these dogs hard to train or control.

  1. To Find Mate

Unneutered males and unspayed females dogs sometimes wander to find food or mate and loose there way back home. dogs can travel very long distances to find a mate when they are in heat, in which case he will follow his nose to find her. Male dogs can smell a female dog in heat for long distances. If its too far from home, the dog would lose its ways and end up becoming strays.

  1. Distractions, Boredom & Fear

Dogs that belong to good pet owners are not likely to run away. The main reason why your dog ran away was that he was scared off by a loud noise or weird moving object.

Some dogs become strays because they are under-stimulated in their home and prefer the comfort of outdoor. Just like humans, canines hates sitting in the living room all day. When they go out, they sometimes get over-excited or distracted by new smells, loud noises, animals or objects, so they investigate or chase the smell until they lose their way back.

  1. Natural Disasters 

During natural disasters, catastrophic events or accidents, it is very likely that the dog involved will run away. In events like fires, hurricane, tornado or flood, dogs can run away looking for a good hiding place for protection and ends up getting lost.

Places like Kansas where tornados hit from time to time are popular with missing dogs. Dogs can sense these catastrophic phenomena early and seek good places for protection. But in the wake of the disaster, they lose their way back.

How to Prevent your Dog from Running Away

Research has shown that many strays are lost pets who were not provided with identification or properly kept indoors. Knowing dogs, they will always find a way to get what they want. They can travel up to 34 blocks looking for a mate. However, there are measures that you can put in place to control his actions or find him at least when he gets lost. These are the best ways to prevent your dog from running away.

  1. Use a Pet fence

One of the best ways to prevent your dog from running away is by purchasing a dog fence. This is a small device that you can easily use to keep a close eye on your dog without being there. A pet fence is also known as the fenceless boundary is a machine with electronic control, designed to keep dogs within a predefined boundary.

A fenceless barrier does not need a physical barrier to operate. It is a simple collar that delivers a mild electric shock once the dog steps out of the predefined boundary and the warning alarm is ignored.

  1. Use Microchip

Although a microchip can’t prevent your dog from running away like the dog fence, it can sure help you find him when he misses his way back.

Microchips are usually very small tracking devices, about the size of a grain of rice. It is a permanent means of electronic identification with a unique ID that can help you find your dog if he ever goes missing. It is implanted between at the back of your pet’s neck and easily detected with a microchip scanner.

  1. Get him a GPS collar

Knowing your dog’s location is one of the best ways to find a missing dog. A GPS dog tracking collar has a built-in GPS receiver in the collar, this device will make you find your dog if he ever runs away.

  1. Get a rabies tag

Rabies tags are also great ways to find stray dogs. They are used to verify rabies vaccination. Every dog must possess a valid rabies vaccination tags along with their pet identification tags.

Whenever your dog runs away, your friends or neighbors can easily identify him using his license or rabies tag. Strangers and passersby can also use his rabies tag to know the name & address of the owner or even take him to the nearest police station.

What to do when your dog run away

If your dog goes missing for let’s say 2-5 days, stay calm and report it to the nearest police station. If you should also hang some posters around so neighbors or passersby can help you identify him or pick him up if they ever do.

If you’re lucky, you may see Fido running around looking for his way back. When you catch him, don’t punish or yell at him. If you ever take your frustration or anger on the dog. If you do, if he ever runs away again, he will be scared of coming back home due to fear of punishment. Instead, praise, embrace and offer him treats. It would cheer him up and make sure he never runs too far from home again.

 

Categories
Training

How To Choose A Good Vet [Top 10 Checklist]

Are you looking for the “perfect” vet? Or you want a regular vet that is right for you and your pet? When most pet owners need a vet, they get their recommendation from Google search results by searching for “Vets near me” and run to the first name they see.

Finding the right vet has proven to be a daunting task. Millions of people have lost hundreds of Dollars to bad veterinarians. While others depend on “perfect” veterinarian with overpriced services.

There a lot of things you need to consider when choosing a vet. Do you look for quality or budget? How do you know that your vet is the right person for your pet?

How to Find The Perfect Vet For Your Pet

 Know A Good Vet

 

Choosing a good vet is not as easy as it seems. If you just adopted a pet, you moved to another city or you’re thinking of changing vets, here is a personal checklist I generated for my aunt in France and it worked for her.

In this article, I’m going to give you a step by step guide that will help you choose the right veterinarian for your pet.

1. Who’s The Patient?

One of the best decisions you can make as a good pet owner is finding your pet a good veterinarian. And when looking for a good veterinarian near you, you must first have your pet in mind. 

Is your vet good with dogs, cats, birds, lizards or cattle? What makes him qualifies to administer medication to your little pooch? Ask him a question and see if the answers to the questions are rational or logical. This plays a big part in choosing the right vet for your dog. 

2. Who’s the Vet?

A degree in veterinary medicine doesn’t make him/her a good vet. Like regular doctors & surgeons for humans, some veterinarians specialize in various fields “colleges”. When choosing a good vet, you should always put this into consideration. 

For example, if you want to treat flea and tick infection on dogs, you typically visit a veterinarian that specializes in skin infections and treatment [dermatologists]. There are also other fields like veterinary dermatologists like neurologists, internists, ophthalmologists, allergists, surgeons…

Some veterinarians specialize in small animals, exotic pets, livestock, dogs or cats. Be sure to know where your vets specialize in before you make him your go-to guy.

3. How Good Is He With Pet?

Let’s be sincere, If they were two vets available in your city, The Incredible Dr. Pol and The Grand Dr. Lisa Anderson. I’m pretty sure a lot of people would prefer Dr. Pol over me. The guy is a reality TV superstar from Nat Geo Wild for God’s sake.

 This is how it is everywhere. A lot of vets spend time building trust and reputation. You’ve seen Dr. Pol work and you know that he’s pretty good with both pets, animals, and livestock. He has over 19,000 clients, performed close to 10,000 successful surgeries and has also been a vet half of his life. Of course, you can trust him with the life of your pet.

I’m not saying that you should not try out newbies like me. You should, as soon as you know we are qualified.  For new veterinarians like me, there are millions of ways to get our name out there and build trust other than starring a reality tv show, blog or website. One of my personal favorites is using the power of social media.

You can easily get the word out using your social handles. Shoot live videos of your work. How you removed a mop from the stomach of a bulldog or how you saved a horse that passed out in labor… Post the extra-ordinary and you are sure to get eyes looking your way. 

4. What’s Your Budget?

Money is another factor that you must consider when choosing a vet. I was surprised when I saw the bills and receipts of veterinarians in Beverly hill. This was nearly 4 times was being charged in Florida.

To be sincere, it was a little overpriced. Yea, your little pooch deserves that extra love but when a vet tries to turn your love into a was to get rich scheme, you have to back off and look for one that offers the same services for a better price.

Besides it no news that most dog trainers and vets offer shitty services with outrageous prices. Don’t be fooled by thinking quality comes at a high-price. You can get quality pet treatment on a small budget.

5. Meet Other Vets

Another way to find a good vet near you is by asking other vets for recommendations. You can ask for help from other vets. You can call your vet and ask questions or get advice. Your veterinarian can also recommend a vet close to you that he feels can do the job. You can also ask for recommendations from vets in the animal clinic.

6. Do a Quality Check

Book an Appointment and run a quality check while you are there. When you go you an appointment, you should look for signs that would allow knowing if this is the right place for your pet or not. The nature of their operation and code of conduct can easily help you tell if they are good veterinarians or not.

Here are a few things you should look out for on your first appointment to an animal clinic:

  • How co-ordinated are staff members? You should first check out things like the number of people working in the clinic and their roles like veterinarians, receptionists, vet tech, and other administrative workers. If it’s not a big organization, but a small one with 2-5 staff, check how co-ordinated they are and do they have essential equipment like scale, X-ray, emergency vehicle, other states of the art gadget and a standard laboratory.
  • How busy are they? Whey you walk into an animal clinic on a Saturday afternoon and see a lot of patients with their pets, this is usually a good sign that you are in the right place.
  • How far is the place? Can you easily rush them when there’s an emergency? Distance also plays a major part when choosing a veterinarian. The closer, the better.
  • How clean is the place? Yea sure, you are bound to see strands of hair on the floor but anything out of the usual is off. The surgery room and storage ought to be squeaky clean. You should check if the place is clean, spacious, and hygienic to bring your pet to.

Once you see how the veterinarian or the animal clinic run their business after 3 visits, you should be able to know whether this is the right place for your dog or not.

7. Ask For Recommendation 

Word of the mouth and recommendation is another perfect way to find a good vet in your area. Especially if you recently moved out to your new place. This is way better than “Veterinary near me”.

You can ask your new neighbors or friends who also have pets to recommend a good vet to you. If this proves to be unsuccessful, you can contact us or other websites that love dogs like over, dog time, the country vet, PetMD and other pet shelters, grooming salon, and pet boarding centers near you, they will be glad to help. 

You can also get a recommendation from professional bodies like the American Animal Hospital Association. If there is a good vet near you, they’d know. Most vets and aminal hospitals accredited by the AAHA offer standard pet care and treatment. So instead of Googling “Vets near me”, try “Vets accredited by AAHA near me”. You can also read reviews dropped on by customers on their Google business page. 

8. Check Their Website

Every good veterinarian should have a website. A business card and flyer is just not enough. Before you take your pet to see the veterinarian, try to visit his website or blog, so you can get foresight on what to expect.

Although some experienced veterinarians have ugly looking sites that are never updated, you can find key information like his services, years of experiences, successes & awards, employees, and rates.

If your vet doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t mean that he is a terrible veterinarian, maybe he’s just starting or knows nothing about WordPress or CMS. You can also check out his business profile on his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter or Linked In.

9. Follow your gut

Your veterinarian is going to be a problem-solver and an important character when the health your dog is treated. You must trust him or her and feel comfortable asking questions. When choosing a vet, you have to trust your guts sometimes. The AAHA recommends that you ask yourself these questions  after your first appointment with a new veterinarian:

• Do you feel at ease with this vet?

• Did you ask enough questions?

• Did he/she answer all your questions and explain things in a way you understood?

You should be comfortable when a veterinarian is with your pet. If something seems off whether with his behavior or method of application, trust your instincts and look for a new doctor.

10. Be A Good Client

If you want a good vet, you should also be a good client or customer. Make sure that you are on your best behavior when you are around your veterinarian. You should visit and leave the animal clinic feeling positive and interacting warmly with the doctors and other staff members. Once you start behaving this way, you will build a strong relationship with them and have a  good rapport with the veterinarian.

Your relationship with the veterinarians should be a two-sided collaboration since you both want the best for your pet. Communication is key when it comes to receiving quality vet care. Be calm even when your pet is in pain and tell the vet your dog is hurts, his medical history, allergies, and other symptoms so he can do his work. The vet would listen carefully and know what to do.

By working together, you and the veterinarian can solve any health issue confronting your pet. Other ways that you can be a good client are:

  • Being on time for appointments.
  • Stay calm and be patients, vets have temper also.
  • Ask questions if you have any.

Choosing a good vet is a smart move if you really love your dog. Try to spend enough time finding one whose profile fits you best. It’s not just about finding a  well-educated veterinarian but one that cares about your furry little baby. Are you still having problem finding a good vet, send us an email and we’ll help you find one for free!