Stay a­lert, it’s sna­ke se­a­son

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

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.

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