Cyan's close encounter with a not so friendly creature (snake bite)

Meet Cyan, a beautiful 3 year old female tabby who presented to the clinic after being treated the previous evening at the Animal Emergency Centre with weakness in her hind legs. The veterinarian at the AEC, after examining Cyan, explained that a number of things, including a snake bite, may be causing her condition.

Cyan was given some pain relief and was taken home to be monitored by her owner who was also told to bring Cyan to her regular vet the following day.

When Cyan arrived at the clinic on Thursday the 8th of February she was still experiencing hind leg weakness and was collapsing when trying to move. Dr Belinda Willis admitted Cyan into our hospital for urgent blood testing, Intravenous Fluid Therapy and monitoring.

When the results from the blood testing came through they indicated that she had in fact been bitten by a snake. Anti-venom was then administered through her IV drip. During this time Cyan had to be closely monitored by the nursing staff for any symptoms that would indicate that she was having an anaphylactic reaction to the anti-venin. This in fact did happen but was controlled by the use of antihistamine injections. After an overnight stay Cyan was fine to return home, still slightly lethargic but now with full use of her back legs.

How can I stop this from happening to my pet?

Sometimes diagnosis of snake bite can be tricky especially if you do not see the snake strike and often the puncture marks are not visible. High speed film studies of snake strike have shown that it is possible for a snake to strike 15 times in 2 seconds! It is vital if you suspect your family pet has been bitten by a snake that you attend an emergency center urgently.