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Useful Information

Snake Bite

Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2007

Fortunately, if your dog happens to be bitten by a poisonous snake the odds are in favour of a complete recovery. The degree of damage inflicted by a venomous snake is determined by a wide variety of variables. The age and species of snake, the intensity and depth of the fang penetration, the amount of venom injected, the location of the bite, and the size of the dog are just a few of the variables.

In general, snakes want to be left alone.

But along comes an inquisitive dog probing every mysterious hole in the ground, sniffing under downed logs, slogging along the riverbank, and digging up leafy patches on the forest floor... and a lightening strike of the serpentine kind may be the result!

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO in the event a snake bites your dog or horse or cat?

First, let me tell you what not to do. Do not take out your pocket knife and cut Xs over the fang marks! Do not attempt to suck venom through those X marks.

Do NOT grab the snake in a fit of anger and attempt to choke it or kill it. You may be bitten yourself.


* Try to identify the snake by taking note of its size, colour patterns and the presence or absence of a rattle at the end of the tail.

* Look your pet over carefully for fang marks, noting that there may be more than one bite wound.

* If bitten on a leg, wrap a constricting band on the affected limb snugly at a level just above the bite wound (on the body side of the wound). This band could be fashioned of a shirtsleeve or other fabric and should be snug but not excessively tight.

* Start your journey to the nearest animal hospital while trying to keep your pet as quiet as possible.

These natural remedies should be always available in your car or property or suburban home. (Snake Bit kit)

If you are on a property and you have access to injectable use it OR the powder of VITAMIN C (give orally crushed or use the crystal Vit C added to some fluids) then administer this immediately every 15 mins.

If you have or can get the Bach flowers Rescue Remedy or homeopathic Aconite 1M for shock, then give several drops every 5 minutes orally or drops on top of head or body somewhere.

This will calm animal and reduce shock (which shock along can be fatal)

* While out walking, controlling your dog with a leash may be your best safety device.
* Do not allow your dog to explore holes in the ground or dig under logs, flat rocks or planks.
* Stay on open paths where there is an opportunity for snakes to be visible.
* Keep night time walks to a minimum; rattlers are nocturnal most of the year.
* If you hear a rattlesnake, keep your dog at your side until you locate the snake; then move away.
* Off-trail hiking with an unleashed dog may stir up a snake and you may be as likely a victim as your dog.
* If your dog seems unusually curious about "something" hidden in the grass, back off immediately until you know what it is.

Venom is a toxic fluid created in specialized oral glands related to salivary glands, and the toxic component is composed of an array of complex proteins. Every snake's venom contains more than one toxin, and in combination the toxins have a more potent effect than the sum of their individual effects. Most of the toxic effects are due to the enzymes in the venom and there have been about twenty-five enzymes discovered so far. Venoms are of two types, either neurotoxic (affecting the nervous system) or hemotoxic (affecting the blood and vessels). The venom of many snakes contain both neurotoxic and hemotoxic components.

Venomous snakebites cause severe pain, cell death, numbness, diminished function and, occasionally, loss of a limb. Snake venoms inflict local effects such as inflammation, damage to blood vessel lining, clotting defects and localized tissue destruction. Some venom can also cause neurotoxicity and interfere with nerve transmission resulting in paralysis.

Antivenin is a serum that is commercially produced to neutralize the effects of the injected venom. At special laboratories healthy horses are injected with increasing amounts of selected snake venom (non-fatal, of course), gradually challenging the horse to make more antibodies. To obtain these antibodies, a small amount of blood is later removed from the horse and the protein antibodies are separated out and purified. A specific antibody is produced for each type of snake. According to Dr. Schaer the newer antivenins are ovine derived and very expensive at $1500 per 2 vials. Severe envenomations might require as many as 10 vials.

SNAKE BITE KIT (Product #222)
Pet owners could carry the snake bite kit with them routinely while outside with their pets, when they know they maybe in snake season.

Rattlesnake WARNING: The vast majority of snakebite cases can be treated without the use of antivenin. A dog that has received antivenin in the past, (and is probably not in mortal danger from a rattlesnake bite anyway) should not, in our opinion, never again receive antivenin (a dangerous highly toxic vaccine).

Cats are much more resistant to rattlesnake bite than dogs. Cats need supportive care, but we do NOT always need a Vet to administer antivenin.

Med / Lg Dog / horse 15mls of injectable Vit C every half an hour. (Vit C ascorbic acid as sodium ascorbate)

** must inject Vit C, very slowly **

Cats / small pets 8 to 10ml every half an hour.

ORAL DOSAGE: Alternatively give the calcium ascorbate powder dissolved in water and given orally every 15 minutes

Vitamin C, in all its forms, can be purchased from your local health shop. Vit C comes in powder or tablets.

Vitamin C is completely non-toxic, so it cannot harm your pet if you give him more than he needs.



AN # 222 SNAKE BITE KIT Set of 3 $49.50
1. Snake bite (antidote and prophlatic) (25ml Bottle)
(Homeopathic Euphorbia Poly, Sisyrinchium 4X, 1M)
A natural safe (non toxic) antidote used for humans and animals, that which is used to render the body immune to the influence of the snake venom and insect poisons and thus as a prophylatic.

2. Vitamin C powder (125gm) (with syringe FOR oral dosing ONLY)
3. Bach - Rescue Remedy (shock /stress) (20ml)

Dosage instructions supplied for emergency and prevention.

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