Tyrice's Snake Bite Battle

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Tyrice, a two-and-a-half-year-old Domestic Short Hair cat was brought into the clinic after his owners found him collapsed and unable to move. Tyrice has access to both indoors and outdoors and lives in a known snake area, so a snake bite was our number one concern.

Signs of a snake bite in pets may include collapsing, twitching of the muscles, vomiting, dilated pupils and paralysis. Snake bites are common when the weather is warmer as this is when snakes are most active. In most cases, you will never find the site of the snake’s bite on your pet’s body.

Dr. Paula conducted two quick in-house blood tests to confirm that Tyrice had indeed been bitten by a snake before beginning his treatment.

While treatment varies with each individual case, it may include oxygen therapy, supportive fluids, pain relief and administering anti-venom.

Anti-venom helps to neutralise the snake’s venom in your pet’s body. Severe bites may require multiple vials. Unfortunately, anti-venom is very expensive to produce and therefore expensive to administer, and you will need to decide whether to go ahead with anti-venom treatment for your pet very quickly.

At South Cranbourne Veterinary Surgery we keep anti-venom on hand at all times in case of such emergency. The anti-venom covers against venom from all snakes in the local area so there is no need to identify the type of snake.

Snake venom attacks the nervous system, breaks down muscle and interferes with the body’s clotting abilities. Unfortunately, this means it is very painful, and due to the muscle break down, this pain and weakness may persist for some time.

Generally, cats cope much better than dogs with snake bites. On some occasions, cats may even be able to recover without the need for anti-venom (although there is a higher chance of recovery if anti-venom is administered).

Tyrice was placed on intravenous fluids and administered regular pain relief.  He spent three days in hospital while he was nursed back to health. Cats who have suffered snake bites require intensive nursing as they are unable to move or even blink effectively!

Despite his painful predicament, Tyrice was such a lovely patient who constantly purred and wanted pats and love from our vets and nurses. He was incredibly brave throughout his whole ordeal.

If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake, do not wait – contact the veterinary clinic immediately.

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