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If your pet has been bitten by a snake, call Animal Health Services immediately at 480-488-6181.

Arizona is home to 18 of the 30 types of rattlesnakes. It is important to understand how to help your pet if they are ever bitten by a snake. Though it is a rare emergency, it can be fatal if it’s not handled properly.

Home remedies and over-the-counter gadgets are not effective at treating snake bites. The best time spent treating a snakebite is looking for your car keys so you can seek professional medical care as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the toxin works against your pet.

We treat snakebites with aggressive fluid therapy and antiserum/antivenin, and we monitor for blood changes. Antivenin is the most important aspect because it neutralizes the toxin, preventing further damage to the tissues and minimizing blood loss. Most animals need one to two vials to counter the effects of the venom.

Preventing Snakebites

  • Clear away undergrowth, debris, tools, toys and similar items in your yard.
  • Make sure shrubs, bushes and flower plants do not encroach on your pathways and walkways so you have clear vision of anything in your path.
  • Clip bushes so they are at least 10 inches off the ground to remove hiding spots.
  • Pick up bird food and fallen fruit, and try to keep feeders on the perimeter of your property instead of close to your home or yard. Rodents are attracted to these foods, and rodents attract rattlesnakes.
  • Always peruse your yard before letting pets out to play.
  • When trail riding or walking, keep your eyes on the path and brush. Snakes like to warm themselves on pavement.
  • Keep a cell phone on you so you can call for help in case of an emergency.