El Dorado Hills rattlesnake.

Northern California residents are no strangers to the potential of encountering a rattlesnake on a hike, in a park, or sometimes even hanging out in our own yards. Although we know to stay away when we hear a warning rattle from a nearby snake, we cannot be sure how our pets will react to these creatures until the situation arises. Your friends at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital want to help you act quickly if you encounter a rattlesnake with your pets nearby:

Say Yes to the Vaccine for Ultimate Rattlesnake Safety

MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital offers the rattlesnake vaccine, which can significantly reduce the severity of a bite for your pet. Although it does not make them entirely immune to rattlesnake venom, it can decrease the amount of reaction your pet’s body has to the bite. Most importantly, it slows down the reaction time, which makes it possible to get your pet in for an emergency veterinary visit. Talk to your veterinarian at your pet’s next wellness exam about how the rattlesnake vaccine can help.

Avoid Retractable Leashes

A lot of pet owners in El Dorado Hills favor retractable leashes when hiking with their pets so their curious companions have a little freedom to explore. These leashes diminish your reaction time if you hear a rattlesnake nearby, however, and might make it harder to get your pet out of harm’s way. Instead of retractable options, choose leashes that extend no farther than six feet so you can keep your beloved pet from a close encounter with a rattlesnake.

Remove Brush from Outdoor Areas

Your pets are still susceptible to meeting a rattlesnake on your property, especially if your front or backyard has plenty of brush or big rocks where snakes could coil up without your knowledge. Try to clear out big areas of brush or rocks if you let your dog or cat outside for some unsupervised exploration time. If there is an opening at the bottom of your wood or metal fence, you might want to fill it in with some cement or bricks to make it harder for snakes to enter your property. 

Act Fast in Case of a Rattlesnake Bite

Sometimes even with the proper preparation, our pets might get bitten by a rattlesnake. If this happens, acting fast is your best bet for a successful outcome. The following can all be signs of a rattlesnake bite:

  • Lethargy
  • Collapse or weakness that makes it hard to stand
  • Trembling or muscle twitching
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Excessive drooling or frothing 
  • Blood in urine
  • Paralysis
  • Dilated pupils
  • Puncture wounds
  • Extreme swelling
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the above symptoms, it is important to get to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not try to use a tunicate on any limbs, as this can actually make the situation worse. You can apply an ice pack to the affected area to slow the spread until you are able to get the veterinarian

Whether you think your pet has been bitten by a snake or you want to learn more about the rattlesnake vaccine, the team at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital is here for you. We want to make it as easy as possible to get the care your pet needs in El Dorado Hills. Call (916) 939-1705 to learn more.