Pro­tect an­i­mals from risk of snake bite

The Western Star - - NEWS RURAL -

THIS time of year marks the be­gin­ning of a rise in snake bites in an­i­mals.

As the weather con­tin­ues to warm up, the Aus­tralian Vet­eri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion is en­cour­ag­ing animal own­ers to take pre­cau­tions to help min­imise the risk of snake bites and seek im­me­di­ate vet­eri­nary ad­vice if they sus­pect their animal has been bit­ten by a snake.

AVA pres­i­dent Dr Paula Parker said snakes tended to be most ac­tive at the end of the day but peo­ple should re­main vigilant.

Dr Parker said snakes found in back­yards were usu­ally look­ing for mice or rats to eat.

“Rats and mice can of­ten be found in un­tidy sheds, or where’s there’s a good sup­ply of wood piles and rub­bish. It’s a good idea to main­tain a tidy gar­den and shed, en­sur­ing that wood piles are neatly stacked.

“Out­side, keep a close eye out for snakes in bushy ar­eas or near wa­ter.

“It’s best to try and keep horses, cat­tle and sheep away from bushy ar­eas.”

The AVA says it’s im­por­tant for animal own­ers to be aware of the signs of a snake bite as they may not ac­tu­ally see their an­i­mals be­ing bit­ten.

Signs of snake bite can vary, de­pend­ing on the snake and the lo­ca­tion in Aus­tralia.

Bites from some snakes will cause an animal to col­lapse, then seem to re­cover. This can give false con­fi­dence the animal is okay but what is really hap­pen­ing is the tox­ins are spread­ing through the sys­tem and wreak­ing havoc.

Within a few hours, other signs start to de­velop.

“If you think your pet has been bit­ten, keep it calm and con­tact a vet im­me­di­ately,” Dr Parker said

“The chances of re­cov­ery are greater if treat­ment is de­liv­ered early.”

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