What To Do If My Dog Has Been Bitten By A Snake?

What To Do If My Dog Has Been Bitten By A Snake?

Author WDF Staff


There are a small group of people that aren't afraid of snakes. According to studies, besides spiders, the fear of snakes is one of the biggest when considering humans. Snakes are cold-blooded animals and naturally seek warm places where they can be. During winter, they will hide under rocks and in burrows, and sometimes you can even find them in your house. With warmer weather, snakes will come out looking for prey.

Dogs are curious creatures and like to explore the world around them. Your dog may find himself near the snake in some situations. Depending on the situation and the snake, the bite can and cannot happen, but we are here to teach you all you need to know if a snake bites your dog. Let's start.

What is a snake bite?

Generally speaking, snakes will not bite dogs, cats, or humans unless they feel threatened or provoked. In the world, there are many different types of snakes. Some are venomous, and some are non-venomous. Many owners think that only venomous snakes are dangerous, but in reality, although non-venomous snakes will not have venom, their bite could still cause discomfort and health problems for your dog.

Symptoms of snake bite on dogs

Several factors need to be considered when we talk about snake bite symptoms. Symptoms will gladly depend on the following:

  • Type of snake
  • Amount of injected venom
  • Bite area
  • Size of a dog
  • The general health of a dog


Symptoms of snake bite will appear 30 minutes after the bite occurs and in some cases, can even appear after 24 hours. You must notice signs and symptoms to help your dog instantly because every minute is important.

Symptoms will gladly differ between venomous and non-venomous bites, so let's look at them.

Non-venomous bites:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Wound bleeding
  • Swelling around the wound
  • Pain

Venomous bites

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaking
  • Lethargy
  • General weakness
  • Urine blood
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Excessive drooling
  • Wobbliness
  • Disorientation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Ataxia
  • Collapsing
  • Paralysis
  • Death

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How to treat snake bites?

Treatment will also depend on different factors, and the most obvious one is if your dog got bitten by a venomous or non-venomous snake.

For non-venomous snake bites, the wound must be cleaned thoroughly, and your dog could receive some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

french-bulldog scared

Your vet will decide if your dog needs to get antivenom for venomous bites. If yes, antivenom will be administered, and also bite wound will need to be cleaned thoroughly. The rest of the treatment will gladly depend on other symptoms (if there are any) and your dog's general state. Your vet will decide what is next for your dog after the exam.

In either case, your dog will need observation for the next two days to determine if his health is getting better because sometimes, certain symptoms can appear after 24-48 hours from the bite.

How to recognize snake bites on dogs?

In most cases, snake bites can be very hard to find and identify. Since dogs have a lot of fur (especially long-haired dog breeds), even with the swelling of the infected area, it could be very hard to find bite. As you may think, snake bite will leave small puncture marks that you will, in most cases, miss. For some owners, they can even look like a scratch.

So to identify snake bite, you will have to watch for the symptoms if you cannot find the bite area. Call your vet when you notice any symptoms, and visit the vet clinic.

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What to do if my dog has been bitten by a snake?

If you suspect your dog has got bitten by a snake, here are a few tips you can do:

  1. The main thing is to stay calm because if you start to panic, you will only create more problems
  2. Call your vet and tell him what happen
  3. Try to find a snake bite, and if you do, apply bandage below and over the area of the bite
  4. Rush to the nearest clinic

Recovery from snake bite

Recovery will vary from dog to dog. Several factors will be considered to determine how long the recovery will last. But remember, you are lucky that your dog survived, and no matter how long it takes, be patient and make it easier for your dog to go through recovery.

These are the factors on which recovery will depend:

  1. Your dog's general health
  2. Dog size
  3. Dog age
  4. Bite location
  5. The time passed between the bite occurred and when your dog got medical help.


Of course, every dog is different, and all cases are individual. Some dogs may recover quickly and without consequences, while others will need more time to recover.

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Can snake bite kill my dog?

In general, death can occur from a snake bite. If you are wondering how long it takes for a snake bite to kill a dog, the answer to that question is not simple, and we have to take a lot of things into account. The survival rate for your dog will depend on the type of snake that bites your dog, the amount of venom that got injected, how much time has passed from the bite to the administration of the ani-venom, etc.

In most cases, death from the snake bite will occur when the venom causes paralysis of breathing muscles, and the dog cannot breathe. This can happen anywhere from one to twenty-four hours after the bite.

Rember that the best thing you can do after the bite is to act quickly and take your dog to the clinic as fast as possible.

How to protect my dog from snake bites?

The best thing you can do to protect your dog is always to stay prepared and alert. If you live in areas where there are snakes, or you decide to go on hiking, you should be extra careful. This is especially true when warmer weather comes around and snakes decide to come out from their hiding spots.

Always walk your dog on a leash, and be extra careful if you walk in an area where snakes can be found.

World Dog Finder team

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