Tag Archives: snake bite

Desert Dangers – Summer Safety For Pets

While the desert landscape can be incredibly breathtaking, it can also be very dangerous to our pets. From snake bites to scorpion stings, cactus injuries and more, it’s important to stay vigilant as a pet parent. AZPetVet’s Dr. Amy Schomburg shares some symptoms to look for, as well as some helpful treatment suggestions with Gina and the Your Life Arizona viewers.

Symptoms of Snake Bite

  • Change in Gum Color (Brick Red or Pale)
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Rapid Breathing & Heart Rate
  • Continuous Licking of Paws
  • Digging at Ears
  • Oozing From Puncture Wound
  • Collapse From Shock

Get to the vet immediately! Dogs must be treated for snake bite within four hours of the bite for best chance of recovery. Remove collars and halters if swelling is occurring near the head or limbs.

Symptoms of Scorpion Sting

  • Pain
  • Localized Swelling
  • Smaller dogs can experience seizures

Foxtails & Cactus

If your dog comes in contact with a cactus, try gently pulling the barbs out with a pair of pliers. Foxtail can be quite dangerous to pets, as the barbed seed heads can work their way into your dogs eyes, ears, mouth, paws or skin. Left untreated, they can cause serious infection.

Not sure what to do? When in doubt, seek help from your veterinarian.

Rattlesnakes – What Pet Parents Need to Know

rattlesnakesArizona is the home to more species of rattlesnakes than any other state in the country. In fact, it’s a haven for critters that bite or sting, but everyone dreads rattlesnake season because of the deadly risk to pets and people, plus the high cost of treatment.

Snakes are designed to blend in with their surroundings, so you may not realize you and pet are in danger before it is too late. Here are some important tips to help protect you and your pet from rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes.


For frequent hikers, or if you live in an area with lots of desert around, we recommend you and your pet attend Rattlesnake Avoidance Training with a professional trainer. There are different methods involved in this type of training, including use of shock collars, so be sure to ask a lot of questions before you decide on a trainer and training system. We also recommend repeating training annually – as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


When a rattlesnake bites a dog, it’s most commonly found on the muzzle or leg. Symptoms will be evident quite quickly, so it’s important to know them and to seek veterinary attention ASAP.

  • Swelling
  • Puncture marks
  • Bruising or skin discoloration
  • Intense pain at the site of the affected area
  • Collapse
  • Respiratory distress (swelling can block airways)
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors

All rattlesnake bites should be considered severe. Keep your pet calm and head to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Exercise caution when moving your pet, as they are likely to be in a great amount of pain and may snap or bite.