Rattlesnake bites can be fatal to your dog, but now a vaccine is available to help your dog's immune system fight off the venom. This is a preventative vaccine that needs regular booster shots, especially if your dog frequently goes into snake country. If you have concerns about this vaccine, ask one of our vets at East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic. But even if your dog has had this shot, make sure they get prompt treatment from a vet to prevent complications.
How to Tell if Your Pet Has a Rattlesnake Bite
Pet's typically get a snake bite on their paws or noses. Look for a pair of fang marks accompanied by swelling, bleeding or bruising. When this happens, even if your pet is vaccinated, take your pet to an emergency room at once. Even vaccinated pets need antivenin to reduce the effects of the bite. Never use tourniquets or devices to draw venom from the rattlesnake bite wound. These products often cause more harm than good.
When to Vaccinate for Rattlesnake Bites
The vaccine for rattlesnakes takes 30 to 45 days to reach full effectiveness in your pet's blood. This means you should plan to vaccinate your pet at least a month before your pet will be exposed to snake territory. The number of doses depends on your pet's size. Both pets larger than 100 pounds and smaller than 25 pounds require three vaccines, spaced 30 days apart. Average size dogs only need one booster 30 days after the initial shot. All pets should have at least one annual booster, but for those with potential exposure to rattlesnakes all year, two boosters each year are needed.
Why Vaccinating Your Pet for Snake Bites Is Important
The rattlesnake vaccination will not prevent you from having to take your dog to the emergency clinic, but it can make your pet's reaction less severe. Some dogs will even need less antivenin if they have been appropriately vaccinated. While it takes 30 days for the vaccine to protect your pet, it's never too early or too late to start scheduling these shots, especially in southern California where our mild climate is preferred by rattlesnakes.
Keep Us in Mind for Your Pet's Emergencies, Contact East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic Today!
A snake bite is an emergency for your pet. If this happens to your cat or dog, don't delay, bring your pet to our clinic in Diamond Bar, CA right away. While treating bites is not something every vet can do, we frequently see pets that have been attacked by rattlesnakes. We can help your pet through the process of both immediate and extended care to ensure proper healing of the wound. Call our office East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic at (909) 861-5737 if you need directions or have any questions about our services. Don't wait until your dog gets bitten to know what to do. Make our clinic part of your emergency plans today.