Pets see the world from a whole different perspective than us humans do. Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, ferret, rabbit or other fuzzy friend, they are all prone to sticking their snouts in places we’d never dare to shove our hand! Due to their curious, exploratory natures most pets are in danger during the summer months from snakes, spiders, and bees. Depending on your pet and with which critter the encounter was with, some could be very serious!
Pets are often overly curious of snakes!
While there is no database for keeping records on how many pets get bit by snakes each year, most pet owners have heard of at least one pet that has suffered a bite. Like humans, with proper care bites of snakes often aren’t lethal. It is important to remember that they can be and to take all the necessary precautions if you suspect your pet has been bitten. The most lethal snakes for most pets include the Copperhead, Cotton Mouth, Rattlesnakes, and Eastern Coral Snakes. Try to be mindful of your pets wanderings and keep them where you can see them and the area they are in clearly. Cotton Mouths like to be around water while the Copperheads and Rattlesnakes like leaf litter and rocks. If your pet gets bit do your best to stay calm and identify the snake from a safe distance. If you can tie something above the wound to help slow the spread of the venom, do so. Not too tight though. Get your pet to the vet as soon as possible! Always be on the lookout for swelling and changes in behavior in case your pet is a bit when you’re not around.
Spider bites are tricky business when it comes to pets since they are much harder to detect and there is almost no way for a vet to confirm that is what your pet is suffering from. Fortunately, unlike with snakes, it’s a bit harder for a spider to get its fangs through most animal fur coats. Usually when the spider bites do occur, they are on the nose or other area where there is little to no fur. The most dangerous spiders in America for pets are the same for humans – Brown Recluses and Black Widows. Spider bites in pets often appear as a swollen area that your pet will frequently lick. Other symptoms vary based on the spider variety, but be very concerned if a lesion developed (brown recluse) or your pet starts having difficulty coordinating and begins breathing heavily (black widow). Emergency vet care is needed in both cases to treat the symptoms, preventing them from becoming life threatening
Snakes and spiders may be more obvious threats than bees. They should not be discounted though, as a bee sting can be very serious in some pets, especially smaller ones. Also, unlike snakes and spiders, bees can be prone to attack very large numbers stinging their victims multiple times. Most pets are usually stung on the nose or the paws. In case of a basic bee sting be sure to inspect the area and make sure the bee did not leave a stinger in the wound that is still distributing venom. You can then help reduce swelling by using a cold compress. Your pet may not need emergency care, but be sure to monitor them. If the swelling becomes excessive or your pet starts having difficulty breathing, get them to the vet. Otherwise, you may just call your vet, explain the situation and they can recommend a dosage size of Benadryl based on your pet type and size. If your pet is swarmed, get them to the vet as soon as possible as multiple stings can be life threatening in most animals. Be especially wary of ground hornets who build their nests on the same level as your pets!
Make sure you know how to identify the dangerous species of snakes and spiders where you live and that you know how to detect bites and care for them. Not knowing what to do in an emergency situation could cost your pet it’s life.
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photo credit: they found a really big spider via photopin (license)