Keep pets clear of snakes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Keep pets clear of snakes

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Some south Georgia pet owners believe poisonous snakes are more numerous this summer... and more dogs are being bitten. 

Veterinarians aren't convinced there are more snakes, but they are seeing a lot of four legged snake bite victims. They say you need to protect your pets. This is the most active period of the year for snakes, and with the nearly daily rain showers people's yards are getting overgrown.

One South Georgia dog owner we talked to today has had four dogs bit by snakes, one of them twice.

 Vets offer a rattlesnake vaccine that will protect the dogs from rattlesnake bites. Terrell had her dogs vaccinated, and she thinks that helped minimize the toxin and save their lives.

Vets say signs your dog has been bitten by a poisonous snake could be swelling...extreme restlessness, panting, drooling and weakness. Sometimes diarrhea, collapse, seizures, or shock.

Gracie gets a vision check from Dr. Ivy Chupp, as she recovers from a rattlesnake bite to the eye.

"Gracie, when I came home, she and another dog Sampson had killed them a timber rattlesnake, and she was about to fall over. Gracie. Sampson was swollen," Owner Kim Terrell said.

In the next room, Terrell's other dog Chloe still has scabbing on her neck where a copperhead bit her. Terrell said this is the worst she has ever seen snakes at her Lee County home.

"Surprisingly they are coming into the dog yards, where the dogs are playing," Terrell said.

Dr. Chupp said they seeing lots of dogs that have been bitten by poisonous snakes.  "Copperheads, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths. It can be fatal. The most important thing is to get them to your vet as soon as possible."

Snakes like to stay in high grass and brush, so keeping your grass short is your best way to keep snakes from invading your yard.

"Keep 10 to 20 foot cut outside of your yards as well, so hopefully the snakes will stay in the taller grass and the brush and not come into your yard," Chupp said.

Both Terrell's dogs are recovering from their snake bites, but she still worries about her beloved pets.

"Everyday that's the first thing I do when I get out of the car. I get in the golf cart and start circling the property and checking all the dogs to make sure no one is bit," Terrell said.

But she knows the active period for snakes in South Georgia will continue for a couple of more months.

  • Click HERE for a good source of information on Georgia's poisonous snakes.

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