Keeping snakes away from your pet - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Keeping snakes away from your pet

Penny Lane recovered after being bit in the face by a snake Penny Lane recovered after being bit in the face by a snake

Danger for your dog or cat may be as close as your back yard. At least one local vet clinic is reporting an increase in the number of cases of poisonous snakes like copperheads biting dogs.

"The danger is mostly tissue damage," said Dr.Charles Bryson, with the Bryson Veterinary Clinic. "There are some animals that will die from the bite, but mostly what we see is they do tissue damage. The skin muscles around there and it penetrates deep into the muscles."

Copperheads gravitate toward areas near bodies of water or rocky and hilly terrain.

"Habitat such as rocky ledges, around little ponds, water gardens or stashed firewood in the yard, they'll take refuge and stay with the food source," said Griff Johnson, a Forester and Wildlife Biologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Dr. Bryson says if your dog or other pet is bitten by a snake, immediately administer Benadryl – about a milligram per pound of body weight.

"If the dog is painful, you may want to give it some aspirin or something," Bryson said. "If it occurs around the face sometimes that's hard to do, so in a situation like that it may be good to bring them in, so you can get them an injection."

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