Snake Bite Emergency People and Pets


  • Call 911 immediately.  If alone, call a friend or family member after calling 911.
  • Try not to panic, stay calm and do not run, but walk to a safe place where emergency medical personnel can find you.
  • 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 yourself! If you are close to a nearby hospital, have someone else drive you to the nearest emergency room. Otherwise, wait for help to arrive.
  • 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 exactly where those resources are.
  • A local ambulance/paramedic trained in snakebite response will render the assistance you need on site, and often transfer to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where expert venomous 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, or medications. This may make matters worse.  Benadryl is NOT an effective medication, and should be avoided!
  • Remove collar.  Use a slip lead if needed instead.
  • Call your local veterinarian
  • 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 pennies compared to snakebite treatment, and greatly reduces the chance of your dog having a very painful and possibly-a fatal encounter. Dogs are naturally curious. Don’t let your furry family member become a statistic.  Recent research shows that rattlesnake vaccine for dogs is of little to no use.

A note on rattlesnake vaccine for dogs: Recent research shows that rattlesnake vaccine for dogs is of little to no use.  Prevention though avoidance training is the best protection you can give your dogs.

The following veterinary hospital in the High Desert/Victor Valley region normally has anti-venin available. During regular business hours, call your regular veterinarian immediately for advice. On nights, weekends, and holidays:

After Hours/Weekends/Holidays

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

This is Rammstein, the author’s German Shepherd Dog, bitten in 2006 by a Mohave Rattlesnake in the muzzle as he was patrolling his fence line. Thanks to the skilled doctors at the Victorville Animal Emergency Clinic, he recovered fully, and lived a long and happy life. This photo was taken 24 hours after discharge from the hospital.