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Protecting your pets during copperhead season in Georgia

Most general vets can handle a snake bite but not all of them have anti-venom
Pet safety during copperhead season in Atlanta
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 6:07 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Rising temperatures mean a rise in dogs with copperhead bites showing up at Georgia veterinarian offices.

While an authentic love for adventure can put a smile on a dog mom or dad’s face, it can get our animals in some tough spots with creatures already living near the trails.

”Copperheads rely on their camouflage so when your dog is sniffing and running around, the snake is not going to run -- they feel confident in what they can do,” said Dr. Sean Carder from The Veterinary Clinic, ”Copperhead bites are blood toxins, they work on the circulatory and the organs as well. They kill their animals by preventing the blood from clotting.”

Dr. Carder says bites from adult copperheads can actually be less dangerous than bites from baby copperheads; adults can control the amount of venom they release with each bite, while babies cannot.

”The closer they {your pets} are to you on the main part of the trail, the safer they are going to be,” said Dr. Carder.

If your dog is bit, try and get your animal to the nearest vet or emergency clinic.

”Most general vets can handle most of this. Not every snake bite needs anti-venom,” said Dr. Carder.

Keep in mind, that vets have different opinions on when anti-venom should be used and not all vets carry anti-venom, which is why some doctors will send you directly to an emergency vet.

To avoid any confusion, call a doctor who knows your animal and ask for their opinion.

”Dogs are very resilient. They are tough and will usually pull through,” said Dr. Carder.

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