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Snake warning to pet owners

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter

Snakes have been haunting pet owners in Harvey this summer, with many heartbroken residents losing their beloved animals to snakebites.

Ninth Street Clinic veterinarian Arporn Kruger said several dogs had been admitted after suffering from snakebites.

“Dogs who had been bitten have a 50 per cent chance of survival, however it depends on many factors,” Ms Kruger said.

One of those factors included how early in the season the dogs were bitten, with snakes having more venom when they come out of hibernation.

Ms Kruger said that brown snakes and tiger snakes were the most common.

Dogs who have been bitten by a snake may show symptoms of trembling, vomiting, dilated pupils, diarrhoea, bloody urine and paralysis.

Keeping grass low, removing any rubbish piles and clearing away objects like corrugated metal where snakes like to hide behind, are all ways to help pets stay safe at home during summer, according to RSPCA.

Keeping dogs on leads, especially near water, as well as avoiding long, grassy areas can help protect the four-legged animals during walks.

RSPCA also encouraged owners to take their dog to the vet immediately if they believed they had been bitten to increase the chances of survival.

Owners are urged to stay calm and refrain from washing the wound.

If owners can identify the snake, they should do so from a safe distance.

Otherwise, a blood test can help vets identify what kind of snake was responsible and which venom is required to save the dog.

Snake avoidance training is also being offered by Animal Ark at the Ninth Street practice.

The naturalistic style of training aims to teach dogs about how to avoid snakes based on movement and smell.

Dogs receive a correction through their collar which teaches them to avoid snakes in the future.

“People sometimes think the training is cruel, however, if a dog learns to avoid snakes, it can potentially save its life,” Ms Kruger said.

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