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What to do if a Snake Bites

Snake

Table of Contents

 Australia is home to over 110 land and 32 types of sea snakes.

With the warmer temperatures rapidly approaching, snakes will start to make an appearance throughout Australia. They are generally attracted to the sun or warm air temperatures as they are cold-blooded. They like to bask in the sun because of this. 

Snakes are known to inhabit desert sand areas and grassy expanses surrounding wetlands and lakes. Snakes are attracted to wetland areas due to the abundance of food such as waterbird eggs and frogs. The desert environment helps them regulate their body temperature. 

 

How to Avoid Snake Bites

The likelihood of being bitten by a snake is low. Even in Australia, where we are famed to have “danger everywhere”. 

Snakes often want to escape when approached by humans. They are not confrontational; most snake bites happen when people try to kill or capture them. 

Do not panic if you see a snake. Stay still, and do not stomp your feet. Simply wait for the snake to cross your path and move away. Make sure it does not feel threatened or trapped. 

You can also make sure that you are prepared to potentially encounter a snake by making sure you wear socks and boots in grasslands. If you are camping- do not lift large rocks and dead wood, and don’t put your hands into hollow logs or cracks in rocks. Be sure to use a torch when you move at night and shake out your sleeping bag if it has been left on the ground. 

 

How you can Protect Your Pets from a Snake Bite

Whilst we want to stay still and have snakes move away as soon as possible, the same can’t be said about our four-legged friends. Dogs are often curious and defensive, especially when the encounter is at their home. If you are at home, make sure you have cleared your undergrowth in your backyard and filled holes in the ground. Keep the grass low and clear away items such as toys and tools which snakes can hide in. Clear up spilled food, fruit or birdseed as it can attract rodents and thus snakes. 

If you are in public, make sure to walk your dog on a lead or ensure that they do not leave your side when going for a walk. Do not let them dig under rocks or explore holes and keep away from high grass and rocks. This can be hard as dogs are curious by nature, so keep a close eye on them. 

 

How to Treat a Snake Bite

If you or someone you are with are unlucky enough to be bitten by a snake, remember to stay calm. Call 000, do not touch or cut the wound and don’t try and copy the movies and try to suck the poison out. It helps identify the snake. 

Don’t put any lotion or ice on the wound. Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage immediately. It helps to slow down the movement of the venom in the body. Don’t make it tight enough that it stops the blood flow. Keep it in place until help arrives. 

Do not under any circumstances approach the snake or attempt to capture or kill it. Otherwise, you may be the next victim. 

 

Types of Snake Bite

 

Dry Bite

A dry bite is when a snake strikes, but no venom is released. They may cause swelling and redness, and you will likely be in pain. Always assume that you have a venomous bite, as you cannot tell if a bite is dry until you’ve seen a medical professional.

Venomous Bite

This is when the snake releases venom in its bite. The venom is designed to stun and numb their prey. Be particularly careful of baby snakes as they are unable to control the amount of venom released.

 

Dog Snake Bite Symptoms

When a snake bites a dog, it may experience weakness, shaking or twitching, vomiting, loss of bladder control, dilated pupils, breathing difficulties and more. If you suspect your dog has been bitten, take it to the vet immediately for treatment.

 Keep your dog still and remain calm; reduce the stimulus around them. Do not wash the wound, apply ice or alcohol to it and do not apply a tourniquet. If you saw the snake, give the vet a description so they can treat it more efficiently. Do not make up a description if you did not. 

 

Snake Bite First Aid

Want more information on how to treat a snake bite and respond in common emergency situations? Book into a First Aid Pro course today!

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