Home » Common Poisons » Snakes

All snake bites or suspected snake bites in Australia should be treated as life-threatening. It is vital that you keep your pet calm and as still as possible. Try to limit any movement (including walking) as much as possible, and transport them to your nearest veterinary practice immediately.

If you are not close to a veterinary clinic and the bite was witnessed to have occurred on a limb, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to that limb before transporting the animal to a veterinarian. The bandage should cover the entire limb, from the paw to the base of the limb. The pressure bandage should not be applied too tight as to restrict blood flow, but at a similar tightness to what would be applied for a sprained ankle. There is no role for a pressure immobilisation bandage for bites that are not on a limb.

The sooner your pet is treated, the better their chances of survival.Symptoms of snake bites include:

– Sudden weakness followed by collapse
– Vomiting
– Laboured breathing
– Paralysis, starting with the hind legs
– Loss of bladder and bowel control
– Shaking or twitching of the muscles
– Blood in the urine

DO NOT try to catch or kill the snake for ID or for any other purpose
DO NOT apply a tourniquet
DO NOT wash the bite site
DO NOT cut, suck or apply any other treatments to the bite-site

If you see a snake on your property, keep a safe distance and contact your local snake catcher or use Snake Catchers.