At Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo we have had two patients bitten by rattlesnakes just within the last week. We recommend the following precautions to keep your pet safe from rattlesnake envenomation:
Keep your dogs on a leash at all times while walking or hiking.
Walk your dog in the middle of the walkway or trail and keep an eye out for snakes on or beside the trail.
Avoid letting your pet explore areas with brush, tall grass, rocks, and logs.
Keep your yard neat and uncluttered to avoid unwanted reptile guests.
Avoid using bird feeders which attract rodents (and consequently snakes) during the spring and summer.
In the event that your pet is bitten by a rattlesnake seek immediate veterinary care! The doctors at Advanced Veterinary Care are very experienced in treating rattlesnake bites. We are prepared to provide the care that your pet needs, including administration of anti-venin.
Please call our office if you have any questions regarding rattlesnake bite prevention, treatment or vaccination. 760-736-3636
The City of San Marcos – Shared this good advice about rattlesnake season-
As springtime brings warmer temperatures, more fury and scaly creatures have begun appearing in our yards and parks.
With all sorts of wildlife emerging in the spring, April and May mark the start of rattlesnake season in San Diego County. Recent reports have described increased snake sightings. As the reptiles come out of hibernation, it is not uncommon to spot them locally, though bites are rare. Most sightings are likely to happen between now and October.
“Snakes are most likely venturing out in search of food and to soak up the sun,” said San Marcos Park Ranger Ron Vinluan. “People think they’re going to chase you—that isn’t so. They don’t want anything to do with us.”
If you encounter one of the five varieties of rattlesnakes found in the county, give it space. Calmly back away from it, leave it alone and let it go on its way, Vinluan continued.
To avoid encounters with rattlesnakes, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests these safety steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of startling a rattlesnake:
Never go barefoot or wear sandals when hiking. Wear sturdy hiking boots with loose-fitting long pants to protect feet and ankles.
Stay on paths and trails, avoiding tall grass, weeds and brush where snakes may hide.
Keep your dog on leash while hiking and be aware of what your dog is doing at all times.
Make sure you can see where you are reaching and that you can see ahead of you. Look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks or wood.
Be careful when stepping over doorsteps as snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.
Unfortunately, hot summer weather dramatically increases rattlesnake activity in our beautiful hills, putting us and our pets in potential danger.
What can you do to protect your dog? Here are some tips:
Vaccinate your dog with the rattlesnake vaccine.
Keep your dog on leash, and near the center of the trail whenever possible.
Work with your dog to ensure he comes when he is called, so that if you hear or see a snake, you can get your dog away quickly and effectively.
Stay on wide, established trails instead of hiking through areas where snakes can easily hide.
Don’t allow your dog to burrow, sniff around in bushes or otherwise try to tangle with wildlife.
Consider installing snake-proof fencing on your property.
Signs of a snake bite include puncture wounds from the fangs of the snake, bruising, rapid swelling and pain. If you suspect your dog may have been bitten, immediately seek veterinary attention; if at all possible call ahead, so our veterinary team can prepare. The doctors and staff at Advanced Veterinary Care are experienced at treating rattlesnake envenomation and are prepared to provide aggressive care for your pet, including anti-venom, in the event that they are bitten.
The rattlesnake vaccine is not indicated for every dog. Dr. Riehl and Dr. Thomas are happy to make a recommendation as to whether or not your dog should be vaccinated based upon his or her lifestyle and degree of potential exposure. Please call our office today at 760-736-3636 to schedule an appointment for your dog’s vaccine or to find out if the vaccine is recommended for your pet. Dogs who have never been vaccinated for the rattlesnake vaccine will need a booster in 2-3 weeks from the first vaccine. Both vaccines will be discounted by 50% if performed within the month of July.
Offer good through July 1st-31st. The discounted cost of the vaccine is 14.50. Vaccinated animals still require timely, aggressive emergency care in the event of a bite.
Advanced Veterinary Care is committed to your pet’s health and safety this summer.