WACO, Texas – With warmer days here, the chances of snakebites are more prevalent – and keeping an eye on your animals when outdoors is very important.
Beverly Cox has been dealing with copperhead snakes invading for the past three years. She has been laying traps around the foundation of her home, and thought she had them under control – until her puppy Molly was bitten.
“The snake was caught on the sticky paper from the trap, and had wiggled his way out of the pipe. So it was laying on the leaves,” Cox said.
Cox says the snake could not escape the trap, but it was still wiggling – and her puppy was attracted to the movement.
“When she put her face down to see what it was, it caught her on her check and the corner of her eye,” Cox said.
Dr. Kristin Dodson is the owner and veterinarian at Hewitt Veterinarian Hospital. She says the common area for snake bites is on the leg or face.
Dodson emphasized the importance of bringing the animal in to the hospital.
“They need to be seen by the vet as close as possible to when they got bit,” Dodson said.
It is also important for the owner to identify the time the animal got bit, and the snake type.
“Different types of snakes do require different types of treatment,” Dodson said. “Rattlesnakes and copperheads are the most common bites that we see in this area.”
Cox was able to get Molly to the clinic within 30 minutes of the bite, where the vet administered anti-venom.
“It will help to decrease the toxins, and the damage that the venom from the snake bite will do,” Dodson said. “It helps to speed up recovery time and make the patient feel better faster.”
After the bite, Dodson says it’s normal for the animal to experience swelling, pain, and oozing of the wound – but with antibiotics and monitoring, recovery time is not extensive.
“It can be anywhere from one week to two weeks,” Dodson said. “The patient will feel pretty crummy for a few days, but treating them with pain medicine, making sure they don’t get an infection, and giving them anti-venom is the best course.”
So how is Molly doing now?
“Molly is feeling fine,” Cox said. “She is a little slow this morning, she is not her peppy self, but she is doing okay.”