Question – Now it's summer, I'm worried about what I should do if my dog is bitten by a snake?
Answer – After tick paralysis, snake bites may be the next biggest problem in summer in our area.
Several venomous snakes are found in our area, of particular concern is the Eastern Brown snake, red-bellied snake, rough-scaled snake, death adder, eastern small-eyed snake and the broad-headed snake.
A common species associated with fatal bites in dogs is the yellow-faced whip snake.
All practices in Coffs carry adequate anti-venom, it is very expensive to treat a snake bite and understandably people don't want to incur costs if treatment is unnecessary.
The sensible approach is to consult a vet immediately if you suspect the involvement of any snake, especially if you are uncertain.
The approach to a snake bite is to spin down a blood sample.
The serum may also be used in a snake bite identification kit.
These kits work well and there is cross reactivity to unlisted species such as the yellow-faced whip snake venom tests positive for tiger snake.
Early administration of anti-venom saves lives.
Delaying treatment until obvious signs occur usually ends up being very expensive and the prognosis is guarded to poor.
On a side note, administration of vitamin C and a host of other traditional/bush/old-timer cures are useless.
The vast majority of snake bites are dry bites, meaning there was no venom injected, the snake was not venomous or it was incorrectly identified as venomous.
Please don't spread advice which is ineffective or would prove fatal to a dog, it only makes a difficult situation more problematic.