Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Are Spider or Snake Bites an Emergency?

86.49% survey participants checked snake or spider bites as being an emergency.

Photo whiterussian

What kind of snakes or spiders your dog might encounter depends on where you live. Some of the most dangerous species include rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. The outcome depends on the amount of venom injected, location, size of the dog ... but I would treat any and all of these as an emergency because the sooner your dog gets help the better.

A prompt and aggressive treatment can save your dog's life.

I would like to note that even a bite from a non-venomous snake can become devastating because of the potential for serious infections.

The signs that should make you suspect a snake bite even if you didn't see what happened include sudden yelp, intense pain, and rapid swelling. You may or may not be able to find puncture marks. The wound might bleed, and your dog might show signs such as drooling, rapid breathing, dilated pupils, pale gums, weakness, vomiting, neurological signs ...

I can't imagine even considering not to rush to a vet if I knew or suspected my dog was bitten by a snake.

Spider bites are generally much less scary and can even slip under the radar. But how dangerous a spider bite might be depends on what spider did the deed. Most spider bites might cause some itching and irritation, and that's about it.

Some can cause swelling and major infection. And some can be extremely dangerous, particularly for smaller dogs.

Know what species might be crawling in your area.

The most dangerous spiders are the black widow and brown recluse.

Most spider bites don't require medical attention. But if your dog acts sick or develops a lesion at the bite site, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Further reading:
Protect Your Dog from Snake Bites
More Creepy Crawlies

Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?
Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?
Is Bleeding an Emergency?
Is Blood in Vomit an Emergency?
Is Fresh Blood in Stool an Emergency?
Is Black, Tarry Stool an Emergency?
Are Pale Gums an Emergency?
Is an Unresponsive Dog an Emergency?
Is Coughing an Emergency?
Is Choking an Emergency?
Is Head Pressing and Emergency?
Are Bug Stings an Emergency?

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

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