Is a Bullsnake Bite Dangerous for a Dog?

by Ben Team Google
    Bull snakes are harmless -- if somewhat pugnacious -- snakes that do not represent a serious threat to your dog's health.

    Bull snakes are harmless -- if somewhat pugnacious -- snakes that do not represent a serious threat to your dog's health.

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    Dogs are inquisitive creatures, and sometimes this curiosity gets them into trouble. While most snakes will attempt to flee rather than fight, escape is not always an option, and snakes -- even non-venomous species -- may bite your dog if they feel trapped. Bull snakes are nonvenomous constrictors, so if one bites your dog, his life is not in danger, but a trip to the veterinarian is still appropriate.

    Bull Snake Bite

    While bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer) do not possess fangs and dangerous venom like rattlesnakes (Crotalus sp.), they do have mouths full of small, sharp teeth. While the teeth of a large specimen may be able to penetrate your pup’s fur, the teeth of a small bullsnake will break the skin of exposed areas, such as the dog's nose. In the case of a quick strike, bite and release, the bullsnake's teeth will cause numerous tiny pinpricks -- but if your dog jerks away when bitten, the teeth may cause lacerations. In either case, wash the area with soap and water, and see your veterinarian soon. Bites can become infected by bacteria that enter the wound. Additionally, some of the snake’s teeth may break off in the wound, requiring removal.

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    About the Author

    Ben Team is a writer who covers animals, trees and outdoor recreation. An environmental educator for more than 16 years, he has written and designed a variety of educational programs and resources. Team is an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist and has more than 16 years of experience caring for reptiles and amphibians.

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