Snake outbreak puts pets at risk

Working dogs and Jack Russells are at greater risk than other breeds of being bitten by snakes.
Working dogs and Jack Russells are at greater risk than other breeds of being bitten by snakes. Warwick Daily News

SUMMER is the season of snakes, and vets warn pets are at greater risk of being bitten this year.

Warwick Veterinary Clinic's Chris Reardon said snakes were typically out in force from October to April.

"But snake season started early and we have had a snake bite every month of the year at the clinic, even in August when there was frost," Dr Reardon said.

Brown snakes and red-bellied blacks were the most likely to get in a tangle with pets in the Warwick region, he said.

"Jack Russells like to chase snakes and kelpies and blue heelers are also being bitten," Dr Reardon said.

"Snake attacks are something that we see more of at this time of year when we get these really warm evenings."

The key symptoms of a snake bite include twitching, rapid breathing and dilated eyes. Wobbly back legs, vomiting and lethargy were also signs a pet might have been bitten.

Dr Reardon said it was best to confine your cat or dog to a safe indoor area during the summer months.

"An owner may ignore a snake bite as some animals don't show symptoms for several hours. Acting early is the best way to increase your pet's chance of survival."

He said for both humans and pets, the best way to avoid being bitten by a snake was simple - leave it alone.

Topics:  brown snakes dogs pets and animal snake bites snakes vets

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