Vet warns of lurking snake danger this summerMedia release: January XX, 2010 – draft
Vet warns of lurking snake danger this summer
A leading veterinarian has warned pet owners of the lurking dangers of snakes, saying this Australian summer would unfortunately see thousands of family animals treated for venomous bites.
Dr Mark Perissinotto, the managing director of VetShopAustralia.com.au, said the warmer weather greatly increased the danger of snake bites with vets already reporting a significant increase in case numbers.
“All signs are pointing to this summer being a particularly nasty one for snake bites and I would urge pet owners to act quickly if they suspect their pet has been bitten,’’ Dr Perissinotto said..
More than 6,000 animals are bitten by snakes in Australia each year and around 80 per cent of pets survive snakebites if treated quickly.
“If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake you should keep your pet calm and quiet and take it to a vet immediately.
“The sooner the animal is taken to a vet the greater the chance of keeping it alive with fewer post treatment complications,’’ he said.
In remote areas where immediate veterinary help is difficult, owners can apply first aid measures such as a firm bandage over and around the bite site to help slow the venom spreading to the heart.
“Never apply a tourniquet, wash or cut the wound site,” Dr Perissinotto said.
“And you should carry your pet rather than let it walk to avoid speeding the spread of the venom.”
Dogs and cats are most often bitten around the head and limbs.
Dr Perissinotto said in a worst case scenario, dogs that are bitten multiple times can begin vomiting in 5-30 minutes, be paralysed in 2-4 hours and can die 2-5 hours after being bitten.
Possible signs of a snake bite include shaking or shivering, lethargy, excessive drooling, dilated pupils, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dr Perissinotto said antivenom, together with intravenous fluids, is the prime treatment for snake bites in pets and can cost around $1,000 to administer.
“Pet owners can try to prevent snake bites in the first place by tidying up backyards, which includes removing rubbish and wood heaps, and avoid walking pets in areas that snakes might inhabit such as through long grass,” he said.
Brown snakes are the most common cause of snake bites and snake bite deaths in both animals and humans, followed by tiger snakes and black snakes.
Further inquiries: Dr Mark Perissinotto 07 5453 4840
Since 1999, VetShopAustralia has been serving pet owners in Australia and throughout the world. Being based in Australia, we understand the needs of Australian pet owners and we are able to pass on incredible price savings on pet supplies and products - backed by assured product reliability, quick delivery and customer service.
VetShopAustralia employs fully qualified, licensed, practicing veterinary surgeons and animal health professionals to carefully check all the pet products sold to ensure that quality is not just a promise but a reality.
Since the beginning, VetShopAustralia is a Vet-owned and Vet-operated online pet store for pet supplies. On top of our promise to deliver top quality products, our sales support services are backed by Vets. You will have peace of mind knowing that you will receive quality sales and service.
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Main Customer Service Line: 1300 VETSHOP (1 300 838 7467)
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