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What to do if your pet is ever bitten by a snake

We want to share an amazing story with you. This story has a great outcome and we hope sharing this will help if you and your pet are ever in this situation.

Maya, a 4-year old German Shepherd Mix and patient of FAM, lives on some acreage in a rural area, north of Owasso. Last week on the evening of Monday, June 19th, Maya was bitten by a snake on her family's property. Fortunately, Maya's mom did a great job of thinking fast; she killed the snake and quickly took it, along with Maya, to the Animal Emergency Center (AEC) in Tulsa.

Upon arrival at the AEC, Maya was examined and had several blood tests to evaluate her condition. Thanks to Maya’s mom bringing in the dead snake, they were able to determine that it was a mississauga rattlesnake, a very venomous snake. This information helped the Doctor determine the best treatment for Maya’s bite. The Doctor there administered antivenom, made sure Maya had supportive care and was watched closely throughout the night.

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Mississauga Rattlesnake (not the one Maya's owner brought in!)

The next day (Tuesday), Maya was transferred to FAM for continued critical care and observation. At FAM, Maya received pain medication, IV fluid, and antibiotics. By Wednesday morning, Maya was beginning to improve; in fact, she was doing so well that she got to go home with her Mom on Wednesday evening! While Maya is not completely out of the woods yet, her prognosis is very promising thanks to her mom's quick thinking and Maya's doctors attentiveness to her injuries.

Maya's Mom did an awesome job of responding to this emergency situation. If your pet is bitten by a snake, seek veterinary care at the nearest emergency care clinic immediately. Ideally, you should bring the dead snake with you for identification purposes. This helps the Doctor determine what type of antivenom to administer to your pet. Also be sure to follow up with your primary veterinarian after an incident such as this. Having a plan in place and knowing what to do and where to go in an emergency situation will ultimately make recovery for your furry family member much quicker.

Here is a photo from Maya’s stay at FAM before she went home with her mommy! She was such a good girl throughout this whole ordeal.

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We are so happy that Maya is doing so much better!


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