What to do if your dog is bitten by a snake?

Dog in clinic after snake bite

Dogs are always armed with curiosity, it is common for them to come across snakes. We come across loss of snake bite cases, especially during summer, where the snakes are active when compared to the winter where they usually hibernate.

Amazingly, snake bite is one of the most common causes of death in pets, especially dogs in the United States. Considering this, as a pet parent, it is wise to invest some time to learn more about snake bite in dogs, its symptoms, first aid and other treatment options.

Symptoms of snake bite

There are certain signs of snake bite that you should always keep an eye out for. Each of these symptoms will help you to determine the type of reaction your pet has to the bite. Understanding these symptoms can be the key to providing the best treatment. Some of these symptoms are listed below:

  • Vomiting
  • Shaking and drooling
  • Dilated and unresponsive pupils
  • Extreme panting
  • Involuntary urination with blood
  • Paralysis

Keep in mind that pets usually starts showing these symptoms 30-60 minutes after the snake bite. Therefore, if you suspect that your pet has encountered a snake and seems okay soon after; do not fail to give him special attention. We recommend taking your pet to a vet for a quick checkup.

First aid

If you think that your dog has been bitten by a snake, try to immobilize and calm him. Try to determine the spot of the bite and keep in mind that the closer the bite is to his heart, the deadlier the result can be.

  • Do not try to catch or kill the snake; instead, take note of its color and pattern.
  • If it is a limb bite, you can try using a pressure bandage to hinder the spreading of the venom.
  • If it is a body bite, you can apply hand pressure
  • Do not make your dog walk, it is ideal to carry him when it comes to transporting him to a veterinary clinic.
  • Bandaging the wound tightly can also prevent the venom from spreading; however, ensure that you do not impede the blood flow in the process.


The veterinarian will perform a detailed check-up to determine the ideal course of action. If snake type if unknown, he will use a bite detection kit to determine the right treatment option. Snake bites in dogs are usually treated via intravenous fluids in addition to administering antivenom.

On occasions, where the bite seems to be severe with respect to the area where your dog was bitten and the amount of venom that was ingested, multiple doses of antivenom might be administered.

More than 80% of the dogs survive a snake bite, provided that you take quick action. The recovery process can be painful and last for one to two days. However, with respect to the severity of the bite, some dogs might suffer tissue damage and require longer nursing care.