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SNAKE BITES: VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona discuss what to do

Posted at 8:11 AM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 16:03:01-04

VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living

Rattlesnakes envenomation is common in Arizona. Most are from the Western Diamondback rattlesnake although Mojave rattlesnakes do call Arizona home as well. Most envenomations occur during spring and fall when hiking with pets is more comfortable. Rattlesnake envenomations can be very scary but with appropriate treatment can have a great outcome.

The most common signs of rattlesnake envenomation include local pain, swelling and bruising. Blood clotting is affected by the venom leading to bleeding/bruising and in some cases neurologic abnormalities can be seen. Treatment goals controlling the pain, limiting swelling, and neutralizing the venom. Antivenom, pain control and management of shock are mainstays of treatment.

If your pet has sustained a rattlesnake bite, do not apply a tourniquet, and do not cut or suction the wound. Limit your pets, movement and seek veterinary care immediately. Do not administer any human medications as many over the counter human medications are toxic to dogs and may limit veterinary options for treatment. With appropriate treatment the prognosis for rattlesnake envenomations can be good.

At VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona, we help pets live longer, healthier, and happier lives through the highest quality critical care, surgery, oncology, and internal medicine services, as well as emergency care at all times.

Located in Mesa, our outstanding supporting staff are trained to the highest standards to help ensure that all our patients receive the best in healing care.

Our hospital has been serving Arizona for over 50 years and will continue to be here when you pets need us. We are available to serve your emergency needs 24/7, our specialists are available Monday through Saturday.

For more information call 480-877-0191 or visit