In the United States, approximately 15,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes each year. Rattlesnakes account for many of these cases, so it’s important for pet parents to be educated about prevention and emergency treatment.
Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation during the spring, when the temperatures start to warm up, and are active in many parts of the country well into the fall. They’re most active when the temperature is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to prevent rattlesnake bites:
- Keep your cat indoors: Protect your feline companion from snake bites and many other potential dangers that outdoor cats face by simply keeping her indoors.
- Opt for a short leash: When venturing outdoors for a dog walk or hike, keep your pup on a short leash to ensure he stays on the path. Avoid areas with long grass, overgrown brush, or rocks.
- Clean up your yard: Make sure your yard is clear of anything that could be a good rattlesnake hiding place including brush, pool toys, and garden tools.
What to do if your pet is bitten:
- Stay calm.
- Apply pressure to any bleeding.
- Immobilize your pet to prevent the spread of venom.
- Keep your pet alert and upright.
- Remove your pet’s collar to keep the airway clear.
- Get to a vet ASAP.
It’s important to remember that rattlesnakes don’t attack unless provoked or threatened. If you do see a rattlesnake or hear the rattle, retreat a safe distance away.