Snake Envenomation and Teaching Down

Rattlesnakes account for most venomous snakebites and for almost all deaths. Vaccination is one of the most important means of protection for your pet.

What are the signs of snakebite?

The venom of most North American pit vipers (crotalids) contains toxic protein components, which produce local and systemic effects. These effects may include local tissue and blood vessel damage, hemolysis or destruction of red blood cells, bleeding or clotting disorders and lung, heart, kidney, and neurologic defects. Crotalid venom can cause shock, hypotension (low blood pressure), and lactic acidemia (a disturbance in the pH of the blood). The venom of most North American pit vipers causes only minor neuromuscular disease, although Mojave and Eastern diamondback rattlesnake venom may cause serious neurologic deficits.

What first aid treatment should I do on my way to the veterinarian?


How do I teach my dog to lay down on command? 



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