The weather is warming up. It's time for you and your dog to start spending more time outside. It's also time for snake activity to increase. If you and your dog spend a lot of time hiking, you may come in contact with rattlesnakes. Unfortunately, since dogs are naturally curious, your dog could end up with a rattlesnake bite. If your dog gets bitten while you're hiking, you'll need to act fast. It's vitally important that you get to the veterinarian as soon as possible. In addition, here are four steps you should take if your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake.
Keep Your Dog Still
Once your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake, the venom will flow through the bloodstream. You want the venom to travel as slowly as possible. You can prevent the venom from speeding through the body by keeping your dog still. The more your dog moves, the faster the venom will spread through your dog's body. If you can, place your dog in a pet carrier for the trip to the veterinarian. The pet carrier will prohibit your dog from moving around too much.
If your dog was bitten on the leg, you should wrap the wound before transporting to the vet. Wrapping the wound will slow down the progression of the venom. Simply wrap a piece of fabric around the wound and secure it with an elastic bandage or medical tape.
Take Its Collar Off
If your dog was bitten on the face or neck, you'll need to remove the collar as soon as possible. The venom will cause swelling in the soft tissue, which could cause the collar to constrict around your dog's neck.
Your dog is going to be in considerable pain after being bitten. Applying ice can alleviate some of that pain. Not only that, but ice can reduce the swelling associated with rattlesnake bites. If you can, apply an ice pack to the wound site and hold it in place until you get to the veterinarian's office.
If you're too far from home to grab ice, turn your car's air conditioner up as high as it will go and point the vents towards your dog. The cool air will help slow down your dog's circulation, which will reduce inflammation and alleviate some of the discomfort.
Now that it's time to start heading out for hikes with your dog, you should be prepared for potential rattlesnake bites. The information provided here will help you provide emergency care for your dog if it's ever bitten by a rattlesnake. If you're looking for an animal hospital, visit one like Metzger Animal Hospital.