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SigMT Volume 11 Issue 3

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SiG MT 98 Animals are naturally curious. While out on the trail, hiking or even down at the river, if your pet gets too nosey, chances are they will get bit. This explains why most dogs and cats are typically bitten in the face and front legs. Most rattlesnake bites occur between the months of April and October. If your pet is bitten, do not panic. Stay calm and keep your pet calm. Stress and activity will cause the venom to move through their system more quickly. Rattlesnake bites are very painful and animals may bite when owners attempt to examine the area – Be careful! Rattlesnake venom is a mix of more than a dozen enzymes that can cause tissue swelling, clotting defects and localized tissue destruction. The degree of damage inflicted by a rattlesnake bite is determined by a wide variety of variables. Those variables include: the age and size of the snake, the intensity and depth of the fang penetration, the amount of venom injected, the location of the bite, the size of the dog or cat, and the health of your pet are all contributing factors. Know what to look for if you suspect your pet is bitten by a Rattlesnake: • Sudden yelp of pain, especially if your dog is playing in a potentially infested area • Rapid swelling on the legs or face • Difficulty breathing due to obstruction of the airway from facial swelling • Apparent, intense pain • Fang/puncture marks (but not always seen) • Oozing blood at puncture • Drooling • Rapid breathing • Dilated pupils • Pale gums • Weakness • Collapse PET HEALTH 101 Text by Dawn Milligan Keep Your Pets Safe Venomous Activity In Rattler Country TREATMENT Antivenin is the only proven treatment against a bite and the earlier it is administered, the more effective its action. Bloodwork will need to be performed. Platelet count and clotting times of the blood will need to be monitored. IV fluid support, pain management, antibiotics and wound monitoring are required for the best outcome of your pet's recovery. In severe cases, blood and plasma transfusions are sometimes needed. Average recovery time is 24 to 48 hours under a veterinarian's care. SiG MT 98

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