Are Venomous Bites an Emergency?

What kind of snakes or spiders your dog might encounter depends on where you live.

Snake bites

Some of the most dangerous species of snakes include rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. The outcome depends on the amount of venom injected, location, size of the dog … but I would treat any and all of these as an emergency because the sooner your dog gets help the better.

Prompt and aggressive treatment can save your dog’s life.

I would like to note that even a bite from a non-venomous snake can become devastating because of the potential for serious infections.

Are Venomous Bites an Emergency?

Be alert

The signs that should make you suspect a snake bite even if you didn’t see what happened include sudden yelp, intense pain, and rapid swelling. You may or may not be able to find puncture marks. The wound might bleed, and your dog might show signs such as drooling, rapid breathing, dilated pupils, pale gums, weakness, vomiting, neurological signs …

I can’t imagine even considering not to rush to a vet if I knew or suspected my dog was bitten by a snake.

Spider bites

Spider bites are generally much less scary and can even slip under the radar. But how dangerous a spider bite might be depends on what spider did the deed. Most spider bites might cause some itching and irritation, and that’s about it.

Some can cause swelling and major infection. And some can be extremely dangerous, particularly for smaller dogs.

Know what species might be crawling in your area.

The most dangerous spiders are the black widow and brown recluse.

Most spider bites don’t require medical attention. But if your dog acts sick or develops a lesion at the bite site, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Related articles:
Snake Bites in Dogs: Protect Your Dog From Snake Bites
Spider Bites in Dogs: More Creepy Crawlies

Further reading:
Snakebite Envenomization
Spider Bites

Categories: ConditionsEmergenciesInsect stingsPoisonous insect bitesSnake bites

Tags: :

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

Share your thoughts