Spring time is prime snake spotting season as males seek out females to mate with. Remember: snakes don’t want to be near humans any more than humans generally want to be near snakes, so being proactive and keeping a cool head if one crosses your path will help keep you and your pets safe. Most people and pets that get bitten by snakes are bitten when they disturb, frighten or try to move the snake.
Keeping snakes away from you and your pets
· Keep grass low
· Remove any rubbish piles, wood piles
· Clear away objects snakes might like to hide e.g. sheets of corrugated metal
· Keep your dog on a leash if walking, especially near water
· Avoid long, grassy areas
· Keep cats indoors with access to a snake-proof enclosure.
If you see a snake at home:
· Walk away slowly
· Keep an eye on it from a safe distance
· Secure your pets
· Do NOT try to catch or kill the snake
· If the snake seems to be hanging around and you want it removed, call a licensed snake handler
· If the snake is in your house, close the door to the room and place a towel in front of the closed door to prevent it exiting before you call the handler.
Signs of snake bite in your pet:
· Sudden weakness followed by collapse
· Shaking or twitching of the muscles and difficulty blinking
· Loss of bladder and bowel control
· Dilated pupils
· Blood in urine
If your pet is bitten:
· Keep them calm and quiet
· Take them to the vet immediately
· Early treatment will help the chances of recovery
· Get advice from your vet on how to stabilise your pet if you are some distance away from the clinic
· Do NOT wash the wound or apply a tourniquet
· If you can identify the snake, tell your vet. Otherwise a blood or urine test can help determine what snake is responsible and which anti-venom to give.