The 6 rattlesnakes native to Southern California include the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Red diamond rattlesnake, Speckled Rattlesnake, Sidewinder, and Mohave Rattlesnake. All of which have venom that can be toxic to humans and our pets.
Rattlesnakes are crepuscular (most active at dusk and dawn). You should be extremely careful for rattlesnakes during these times.
The striking speed of a rattlesnake is amazing and they can strike up to 2/3 of their body length. To be safe it is suggested to stay at least 10 feet away from a rattlesnake and never try to touch a rattlesnake.
Snakes like to hide. Never put your body parts where you can't see them. This includes reaching under rocks, walking off of trails, reaching in gopher holes and in brush piles. Keep your yards cleared of thick brush and clear vegetation away from walkways.
Keep the number and address of a 24/7 veterinary hospital handy.
Enroll your animal in a rattlesnake avoidance/ aversion training class.
Symptoms and Examination Findings of a Rattlesnake Envenomation
- Symptoms may be delayed for 8 hr after envenomation
- Puncture wounds on head and forelimbs in most animals
- Local tissue swelling and pain surrounding bite site
- Bruising, with possible necrosis and sloughing of bite site tissue
- Ecchymosis (looks like a bruise) and petechiation (looks like a bruise) of tissues and mucous membranes
- Hypotension and shock
- Tachycardia (raised heart rate)
- Shallow respiration
- Depression and lethargy
- Nausea and excessive salivation
Snake Bites to be Most Concerned With
- Bite site-bites to tongue and torso are of major concern.
- Small sized victim
- Elapsed time between bite and initiation of treatment
- Activity level of victim after the bite-activity increases absorption of venom.
What to do if your dog is bit by a rattlesnake
- Calm the patient and transport them quickly to a veterinary facility
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