A SERIOUS warning to all pet owners has been given by a leading veterinarian as temperatures heat up around Australia and thousands of family animals face the threat of a deadly snake bite.
Head vet at VetShopAustralia.com.au Dr Mark Perissinotto reported more than 6000 animals are bitten by snakes in Australia each year but about 80% of pets survive if treated quickly.
"Unfortunately during the summertime snakes are a constant and deadly threat to our beloved pets, with brown snakes being the most common cause of snake bite deaths, closely followed by tiger snakes and black snakes," Dr Perissinotto said.
"Keeping an eye on the outdoors areas around your house is the first way to prevent snakes from harming your pet. Keep backyards tidy and remove rubbish heaps to eliminate any possible snake hiding spots.
"If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake it is crucial to act fast and take them to a vet immediately. The quicker the animal is attended to the higher chance they have of surviving as dogs that are bitten several times can become paralysed within two to four hours and can then die two to five hours after being bitten.
"If you are located in a remote area apply a firm bandage around the bite to help stop the venom spreading to the heart and remember to never wash, cut or apply a tourniquet on the wound site."
Dr Perissinotto said that dogs and cats were generally bitten around the head and limbs so checking for bite marks in these areas was a good idea. Other signs to watch for also included shaking or shivering, lethargy, drooling, dilated pupils, vomiting and diarrhoea.
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