With warmer weather comes an increase in snake activity. This prompts an increase in calls to the Animal Poisons Helpline regarding snake interactions where a bite is suspected or known to have occurred. Australian snakes are amongst the most venomous in the world and all bites should be treated as life-threatening.

Some snake bites can sometimes be relatively painless and not leave any obvious bite marks, especially on our furry friends where it is often hard to see the skin clearly. If your pet is bitten or has interacted with a snake in a manner that could have potentially resulted in a bite, it is vital that you keep them calm and still. Try to limit any movement (including walking) where possible and transport them to your nearest veterinary practice immediately, even if they look well.

Signs of a snake bite in your pet may include (but not be limited to):

-️ Sudden weakness or collapse, which may be followed by transient improvement
-️ Vomiting
-️ Loss of bladder and bowel control
-️ Paralysis, starting with the hind legs
-️ Laboured breathing
-️ Bleeding

To prevent snakes from finding your backyard attractive and reducing the risk of bites:

✅ Keep the grass low as most snakes prefer not to move across long stretches of open ground.

✅ Clean up any rubbish piles and clear away objects where snakes may be able to hide (e.g. wood piles, under sheets of corrugated metal).

✅ Keep your yard clean and free from rodents which can attract snakes.

✅ When walking your dogs always keep your pet on a short leash and avoid walking through heavily vegetated areas.

The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand and can be reached on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ).