Isn’t spring a beautiful time of year! But living in our “semi-rural area” means we need to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings in the warmer months for snakes and spiders and insects such as bees. Snake Bites can be a serious problem.
Here are a few tips to remember:
1) You should identify the snake if at all possible (remember that it’s illegal to kill them though).
2) If you know your pet has been bitten by a venomous snake such as a brown snake, red-bellied black snake or tiger snake, you need immediate veterinary help.
3) If you’ve seen the snake but aren’t sure if your pet has been bitten, look for signs such as collapse, breathing difficulties, weakness, tremors and convulsions, vomiting, loss of balance and dilated pupils.
4) Your pet should be rested and if you know that it has been bitten on the leg, apply a pressure bandage.
5) Keep your garden cleared of long grass and debris, don’t leave clothes and towels on the floor.
6) We also recommend walking your pet on a leash to limit the likelihood of them encountering snakes and take extra care when bush-walking, particularly heading to the beach.
The good news is that snake venom detection kits for animals are available, so immediate veterinary attention is recommended for the best results. Hospitalisation and intensive supportive treatment is often required.
Another piece of information to take on board now that we have officially entered spring – is some info about plants that have the potential to make dogs and cats very sick.
These flowers may result in acute renal failure and subsequent death if inadvertently consumed by cats. Be sure to remove lilies from indoor flower arrangements and do not plant lilies in your garden if your cats spend time outdoors. All parts of the flower are considered toxic and disease can result simply from your cat grooming pollen off a contaminated coat or chewing the leaves without eating any of it.
When the Aloe Vera plant is consumed it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Shampoos containing Aloe Vera (such as Aloveen) are quite safe, however direct application of Aloe Vera oil/extract to the skin is NOT considered safe.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow Plant
Brunfelsia Australis or Grandiflora – This plant has emerged as a very common cause of seizures due to toxicity in dogs (particularly in the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas). All parts of the plant are potentially toxic but the leaves and flower heads appear to be particularly tasty to dogs and may be consumed in large quantities. Signs of toxicity include drooling, gagging, agitation and anxiety potentially progressing to life threatening convulsions.
Consumption of the leaves of a marijuana plant, ‘hash cookies’ or simply passive inhalation of smoke can result in toxicity to dogs. This can be a frightening experience for dogs. Signs include dilated pupils, muscle tremors, loss of coordination, hyperactivity and hypersalivation. Signs can progress to bradycardia (a slowed heart rate), hypersensitivity and seizures.