Lifestyle

Snake season warning for pet owners

Eastern brown snake
Eastern brown snake

A SPATE of recent snakebite cases serve as a timely reminder that these spring days are warm enough to enliven our local reptile population.

Two dogs were successfully treated for brown snake bite with anti-venom, while one died before we could treat it, despite having been bitten only twenty minutes earlier.

Deterioration of that speed is not unheard of but it's very unusual, with most cases progressing over hours rather than minutes.

A young woman bitten by a tiger snake in 2003 took 32 hours to start showing signs, after which a precipitous decline ensued.

Dogs and cats often have delays of 24 hours or more before onset of clinical signs such as paralysis following snakebite.

It depends on the blood and lymphatic supply in the area of the bite.

Compared to a red-bellied black, the venom of an eastern brown snake is gram for gram over sixty times more lethal!

Its venom has a range of components with different effects different speeds of action.

One interesting feature is that, unlike black snake venom, there is no local tissue damage, pain, swelling or bruising at the bite site. This means the bite it usually invisible.

The fastest acting brown snake venom component is one that causes failure of the blood clotting mechanism and this starts working within minutes of the bite.

We can use blood clotting tests to determine whether or not an animal has been envenomed.

The other components are a combination of paralysing neurotoxins and these usually take at least one to two hours or more to start working.

An important feature of brown snake envenomation in dogs is what we call the "pre-paralytic signs".

These include transient collapse, vomiting, salivation and lethargy.

If you see these signs after a bite then you know your dog has received a potentially lethal dose of venom.

This is very important because an envenomed dog can show these signs, and ten minutes later look ostensibly completely normal. They are not!

If treatment with anti-venom is given after the pre-paralytic signs but before the paralysis sets in, then lower doses are needed and the odds of survival are much better.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  animals dog lifestyle pets snakes vet



iPhone update: The cool new stuff you're about to download

Every Apple smartphone will become more useful.

Alpacas slaughtered in cold blood: 'It's a low, mongrel act'

LOW ACT: Seven alpacas were shot dead at point-blank range at the weekend.

Seven alpacas shot dead on Southern Downs property

How you could easily save $1000 a year on coffee

The amount of money you spend on coffee each year could be enough to blow the milk out of your tea!

NO ONE wants to forego their daily barista-made coffee...

Local Partners

Mistake text message sealed Mackay couple's fate

Primary school teacher was trying to text a friend. She pinned in the wrong number. Then, this happened.

How Ben dedicates his new adventures to his beloved late wife

Ben’s wife Leah died of melanoma soon after their wedding.Source:Facebook

'You’re never going to stop living though me & Turbo'

How I ended up flying first class for the price of economy

So this is how the other half lives...

“QUICK! Check this out, can this be right?"

Sleep and sex will make you happier than a payrise, study shows

Abril Benedit and Facundo Arguello gave up their careers in psychology and marketing in Argentina to travel the world and spend more time with one another. Picture: Richard Dobson

“Better sleep is the biggest single contributor to living ­better."

Mum upset after sister steals both her baby names

She has two boys and her sister has used both her children's names for her own kids

"AIBU [Am I Being Unreasonable] to think this is a bit unfair?”

What you need to know before you ditch carbs

Instead of ditching carbs, switch to wholegrain (brown rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt or polenta), along with fruits, beans and vegetables.

Not all carbs are the same and understanding the difference is vital

Mum doesn't know she has given birth

Sarah has been in an induced coma since she gave birth on August 28. Source: Gofundme

Her son won't be named until she wakes from her coma