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Contact Info

Glenelg Veterinary Services

Glenelg Veterinary Services
Casterton, Vic 3311 
Phone: (03) 55812 000
Fax: (03) 55812 200
OPEN: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Thursday 10am to 4pm. 

Pet Care & Resources » Snakebite


Dogs and cats have that natural hunting instinct and it is their curiosity that often gets the better of them when they see the slinky slithering of a snake.
In the Western District of Victoria, veterinarians see peaks of snakebite cases at the beginning of summer when snakes first come out of hibernation as their venom glands tend to be full, and at the end of summer or in autumn. I have seen snake bite cases in the middle of winter though, as well, as Jack Russell terriers often poke around in area where snakes like to sleep!
If your pet has been in contact with a snake treat it as an EMERGENCY SITUATION and contact a vet immediately.
Snake bites are usually inflicted on or around the head, neck and front legs of the pet but the snakes in this area have very small fangs, and usually, it is impossible to find the bite site.
Pets can react in different ways and present with various symptoms, some of which can be:

  • vomiting
  • lethargic
  • weak
  • blood in urine
  • “staring” eyes
  • collapse
  • become comatose
  • signs mat develop as soon as 5 minutes after a bite, or as long as 24 hours

First Aid Tips:

  • Keep your pet as calm and still as possible, movement will only circulate the poison through your pets body at a faster rate
  • Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage if possible
  • Carefully carry your pet to the car, do not allow your pet to walk
  • Transport your pet to a vet immediately

It is not necessary in most cases to try to identify the snake as multivalent antivenom will be used to cover the common snake species. Tiger snakes and brown snakes can appear very similar, and often only an expert can tell them apart, using scale counts. DO NOT attempt to catch the live snake, it is dangerous and snakes are protected, killing them is illegal.