Experts: Pets in Jeopardy From Surging Snake Population

By: KENS CBS Email
By: KENS CBS Email

They're poisonous, even deadly, and suddenly showing up everywhere. Rattlesnakes are slithering out in record numbers and one of the biggest concerns is protecting pets.

A staff worker at Hill Country Animal Hospital, Lisa Christie sent an e-mail to all clients. The warning: this might be the worst rattlesnake season in years based on the number of cases already seen.

Then, suddenly, that warning hit home. One of her dogs got bit. "When I looked up, there was a snake curled up," said Christie. "I tried to get her not to sniff it, but sure enough, she did and the snake bit her right in the muzzle."

Within an hour, Christie's other dog was also bit. "He tried to bite the snake and he got bit on the inside of the cheek."

"These teeth are just cesspools. They're just totally nasty," said Dr. Clint Powell, Hill Country Animal Hospital.

Powell says a snake's venom causes all sorts of problems, least of which is the swelling. "This part of the dog right here, most likely where he got bit because the tissue is already starting to die," Powell said. "I've seen these guys come in, have their tongue bit and it's so swollen, they've got so much venom in that tongue, their tongue is actually swollen to the point they can't breathe."

The good news, Christie's dogs should be okay. But she's glad the warning went out.


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