Snake Bite Emergencies: People and Pets

IF YOU HAVE BEEN BITTEN BY A RATTLESNAKE, THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY

  • Call 911 immediately.  If alone, call a friend or family member to be by your side.
  • Try not to panic, stay calm and do not run, but walk to a safe place.
  • Identification of the snake’s species is helpful, but not required.
  • Remove any rings, bracelets,  necklaces or clothing that may become constrictive.
  • Wash the area of the bite with soap and water. 
  • Do NOT try to cut the wound open, use a
    “snakebite kit” try to suck out venom, or use a tourniquet! These procedures do not work, and can make matters much worse. 
  • Do NOT drive! If you are close to a nearby hospital, have someone else drive you to the nearest emergency room.
  • Do NOT apply ice!
  • Do NOT drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not waste valuable time “calling around” to see what facilities may have anti-venin. Health care professionals already know what resources are available, and know where those resources are.
  • A local ambulance/paramedic who is trained in snakebite response will render the assistance you need on site, and will most often -transfer you to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where expert snake envenomation care is provided.  Most often, patients are transported via Mercy Air (air ambulance) from the High Desert. 
  • Stay calm, and know you’re in the well-trained hands of professionals using the latest advances in snakebite/envenomation medicine.

If your pet has been bitten by a snake

  • Keep your pet calm.
  • Do not offer food or water.
  • Immediately take your pet to get help!

The most effective way to keep your dogs safe in rattlesnake country is to have them avoidance trained. Contact SnakeWorx Avoidance to get your dogs trained today! A short training session can mean the difference between life and death, is far less expensive than snakebite treatment, and greatly reduces the chance of your dog having a very painful and possibly-a fatal encounter.

The following veterinary hospital in the High Desert/Victor Valley region normally has anti-venin available. Call your regular veterinarian immediately during business hours to let them know you’re on your way.

After Hours/Weekends:

Animal Emergency Clinic; 12180 Ridgecrest Rd #122; Victorville, CA 92395 760.962.1122

Additional Snake Information Resources

Snake Identification and Removal Services

Snake Trapping Services

Rammstein, anAdult German Shepherd Dog who survived his snakebite, thanks to skilled veterinarians at the Victorville Animal Emergency Clinic