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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14923
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a small dog he is a rat terrier mix that was bitten

Customer Question

I have a small dog he is a rat terrier mix that was bitten by a rattlesnake(we think) he has a very swollen leg and we have been having snakes in the aera, what can I do for him
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear about Cheech. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

How long ago was he bitten; how long has his leg been swollen?

The only treatment for snakebite is to get anti venom at a veterinarian, and pain control. Snake bites are very painful. Do not give aspirin; it can make the blood thin and cause internal bleeding, and so can snake venom so a dog with snake bite should not get aspirin. Advil and Aleve and ibuprofen are also dangerous in dogs. I usually use prescription medication like tramadol, buprenorphine, etc.

If you can take him to a veterinarian that would be best.

Check his gums, are they pink in color or do they look pale? Will he eat and drink? If his gums are pink and he is eating, that is a good sign.

Let me know what else I can answer or help with. Rebecca

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It happened I think about an hour and a half ago , his leg had swollen up fast and still is, his gums are very red looking , and he wont take a drink or eat at this time, his face is drawn back like he does when he is in a lot of pain, I just am hoping he won't have a heart attack or something, we can't afford an emergency vet bill at this time, and we live 20 miles up in the mountains of Wyoming, can you suggest any home remedies or anything to help his pain and swelling?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Dogs do not get heart attacks like people, thank goodness. However, the snake toxin can have systemic effects on the nervous system and also can cause internal bleeding.

There just are no home remedies for snakebite. The best treatment is anti venom, but it is expensive. There are no pain medications that would be safe to give, or effective, that are available over the counter. Do you have any tramadol? It is by prescription, but sometimes people have it. As I said, aspirin would make things worse, Aleve and Advil are dangerous in dogs. You could try some Tylenol; how much does he weigh?

Most dogs do survive snakebite, but the smaller the dog the more dangerous. Some dogs die without getting antivenom, pain medication is not always enough.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How is he doing? Can I help with anything else?

If you tell me his weight, I can give you a dose for tramadol, if you have any.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How did Cheech do with the snake bite?

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Cheech. How is everything going?