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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24378
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is tired and has dark red gums, we have a lot of

Customer Question

My dog is tired and has dark red gums, we have a lot of snakes around our house and my mom shot a water moccasin this morning, do you think he could have been bitten?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Probably not because water moccasins are crotalids and this type of snake usually causes a bite with considerable swelling, pain or patient collapse. Fang marks are often visible and associated with bruising around the area. Dogs may be quite uncomfortable, hemorrhage uncontrollably, and experience both cardiovascular and neurologic alterations.

Lethargy and such gums aren't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder but could indicate dehydration, sepsis, or shock. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Could it be another kind of snake? We have seen a lot of copperheads too
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

Copperheads are also crotalids. It's the elapids such as the coral snakes that don't leave easily found bite marks.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We have seen coral snakes too would the symptoms fit that?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
what would the bite look like?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

If found the bites would look like tiny red puncture wounds or small contusions typically on the lips or paws. All patients can show behavioral changes (e.g., hiding) in the early stages of envenomation. Generalized weakness and excessive salivation, short, shallow respirations indicative of respiratory paralysis, muscle tremors/fasciculations, not knowing where one's limbs are in space (proprioceptive deficits), vomiting/retching, and discolored urine if red blood cells are broken down are all possible.

I have to leave my computer for a few hours but promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
How long would it take for a coral snake bite to kill a dog?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

That would be predicated upon the amount of venom injected. When dogs are mildly affected or clinically normal we monitor for worsening clinical signs for a minimum of 36 hous after exposure to the snake. Sorry for the delay. I tried to kill myself hiking 8.05 miles in the middle of nowhere.