Snake Season is Here: Several Dogs Bitten by Copperhead Snakes in Georgia

Posted by Christy Caplan
Copperhead Snake

Snake season is here! Clearly, there are regions in the country where there are a lot of venomous snakes! Here in the state of Washington where I live there is only one venomous snake, the Western rattlesnake.

We have lots of garter snakes but they're only mildly venomous and not something to worry about. All snakes can be found in areas open to sun exposure.

In Georgia, vets are seeing an increase in snake bites and they're warning pet owners to be mindful when they're out for walks and hikes! One vet had seen five dogs in the last week that had been bitten.

WSB-TV in Atlanta interviewed a vet about the antidote. We learned there is an antidote for your pet if they get bitten, but not every vet may have it.

"It's kept frozen, so it's fresh. Not all veterinarians carry anti-venom. Neff (the vet) can't say whether we're in for a bad season for snakebites but told Petersen that it has been a bad week for sure.  She said some vets and their patients swear by a vaccine that's out there, but she is not one of them."

The anti-venom is expensive and the treatment is more than $100 for a dose. However, it's a lifesaver.

The Copperhead snake is a species of a venomous snake endemic to the Eastern US region. The Cooperhead injects a small amount of venom when it bites the dog (or human). The bite wound rarely is the cause of snakebite fatalities. There will be local tissue damage which will lead to a secondary infection.

Which snakes do you need to be aware of? Water moccasins, copperheads, the coral snake, pit vipers or rattlesnakes are all on the list.

If you can see bite marks and the location of the bite, rinse the wounds with water or a baby wipe to get the venom off the dog's body.

Remember that rattlesnakes are usually are brown or reddish with clear patterns on the back and rattles on the end of the tail. Rattlesnake bites are a problem so get to the vet or emergency clinic right away. Don't try to google the amount of venom that may have an impact!

The most poisonous snake is the viper and regardless of the snake bite, you must seek immediate veterinary care. Call ahead though to make sure they have the anti-venom!

What if this happened to your dog? Do you know the types of snakes in your region? Please leave us a comment below!

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Snake Season is Here: Several Dogs Bitten by Copperhead Snakes in Georgia