Stay alert, it’s snake season
GRAAFF-REINET — With summer in full swing, residents of Graaff-reinet and surrounding towns have been warned to be on the lookout for snakes in their homes and yards.
Local veterinary clinics have warned residents on social media to be aware of the potential danger of snakes as they have treated a few patients suffering from snake bites at their practices this week.
We are well into the summer and the weather is nice and warm. This also means that snakes will now be up and about after a long period of hibernation, hungry, and in search of food.
From mid-august until late May it is snake season, and pet owners are cautioned to be on high alert and to keep an eye on their domestic pets as they may fall prey to snakes. Residents are also warned to be cautious when dealing with snakes.
When spotting a snake, many inhabitants of Graaff-reinet and the surrounding towns may be frightened, which is understandable seeing as some snakes are dangerous, but they are urged to rather call nature conservation instead of resorting to killing the snake. The puff adder is known to be very instinctive, slow in pace, and quick to sense danger. Graaff-reinet is home to many different species of snakes. Many of them are harmless, while some, such the puff adder and rinkhals, are extremely dangerous, with the puff adder known to be very instinctive, slow in pace, and quick to sense danger.
The rinkhals, or ring-necked cobra, is a fast-moving multi feeder good at faking death. It is easily identi¿ed by the two white stripes across its neck, which is visible when it spreads its hood. If you come across a snake and fear that it might have bitten your pet, a local veterinary clinic advises you to: Take a photo of the snake. Your vet will then be able to identify it more quickly than by just listening to a description of it. Look for snake bite marks on your dog that will likely be on its head, neck or limbs. Your dog may show other symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, paralysis and muscle tremors to name a few.
If you ¿nd a snake bite or your dog shows any of the above symptoms, take the dog to the vet immediately. Try and keep the dog as calm as you possibly can.
It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your vet’s emergency number for after-hour emergencies.