September 19th is Snakebite Awareness Day. Here in Texas, we have 90 kinds of snakes, ten of which are venomous. In fact, the only state that has more than we do is Arizona. This is particularly concerning for people with pets. You definitely do not want your furry friend to have a run-in with a rattler. A Kerrville, TX vet offers some advice on this below.
The snake that you are most likely to come across here in the Lone Star State is the Western Diamondback. Unlike most snakes, they are quite aggressive: they are responsible for the majority of bite cases. Other local snakes include the Timber, Banded, Mottled Rock, Prairie, Mojave, and Black-tailed rattlesnakes; Western and Desert Massasaugas; and the Western Pygmy.
Different types of snakes prefer different sorts of terrain. It’s a good idea to do some research, and learn what they look like, how they act, and where they live. For instance, the Timber rattlesnake is a shy but extremely venomous snake that lives near the water; the Banded and Mottled Rock rattlesnakes both prefer rocky areas; and the Mojave rattlesnake likes desert terrain.
Pets are in danger from snakes, in large part because they like to investigate and explore things. This is one area where an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. Ways to make your property less appealing to snakes include putting up fencing; removing debris; covering holes, such as drainage pipes; and filling in holes under sheds and garages. Keep your grass trimmed, and humanely evict the critters that snakes eat, such as mice. If you have a dog, keep him leashed, especially at night, and don’t let him explore potential habitats. Also, pay close attention to where both you and your pooch are stepping when out on your walks. We also strongly recommend keeping cats indoors.
Coming Across A Snake
Most snakes are very calm and timid, and will generally choose flight over fight. However, any snake can bite if they feel threatened. What do you do if you hear that telltale rattle? Stop, and then slowly back in the opposite direction. If your pet does get bit, get him to the emergency clinic right away. Many animals survive snakebites, but must be treated immediately.
As your Kerrville TX veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Please contact us anytime!