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Depending on your geographical local contact with rattlesnakes may or may not be relevant. Bites from rattlesnakes can range from severe envenomation causing death to mild bites that require minimal treatment. Bites vary in the size of snakes and the condition resulting in the bite. An aggressive or protective bite is often worse because of the amount of venom that is injected. Bites to the feet, legs or along the chest wall also tend to be more severe than bites to the face. A smaller dog or cat that gets bitten may be much more affected by the bite than a large dog. Any pet that is bitten by a rattlesnake should be evaluated for treatment. Rattlesnake venom can cause local skin death as well as internal bleeding, breathing problems and kidney failure. If antivenom is required, the sooner it is given the more effective it is in stopping the progression of the snake venom toxicity. All pets that are suspected or known to have been bitten by a rattlesnake should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. This includes pets that have received the rattlesnake vaccine.

Signs that you pet has been by a rattlesnake include:
  • Swelling and pain around the bite puncture wounds
  • Bruising of the skin and surrounding area
  • Lethargy depression
  • Oozing puncture wounds
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness and collapse
  • Stiffness and paralysis
Call Your Veterinarian or Animal Urgent Care at (760) 738-9600
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