DENVER (KDVR) — Rattlesnakes have made headlines recently in Colorado. A 6-year-old boy died after he was bitten by one in Colorado Springs earlier this month. Three terrier dogs survived after they were bitten by rattlesnakes in Unincorporated Arapahoe County.
Many have asked, “what should I do if my dog gets bitten by a rattlesnake?”
Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies said it is important to act quickly.
“Approximately 80% of pets survive a snake bite if treated quickly, so a prompt response is essential. This involves recognizing the initial symptoms of a snake bite and immediately seeking care,” Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies said.
Here are steps the Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies said you should take if your dog is bitten by a snake:
- Seek veterinary attention immediately. Most pets will survive a snake bite if attended to immediately.
- Make sure to call the clinic ahead of your arrival so that the team can make the necessary preparations to treat your pet as soon as you arrive
- After calling the veterinary clinic, administer first aid/emergency treatment to minimize the effects of the venom.
- Keep the wound below the heart, and keep your pet as still as possible to discourage the spread of venom.
- If your pet isn’t breathing, call the veterinary clinic for instructions for how to administer CPR.
- Keep calm. Pets can sense panic, which can cause them stress. An increase in stress levels may cause venom to be circulated in the body more quickly.
Veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald at the Alameda East Veterinary Clinic said he treats one rattlesnake bite each week during the summer.