How Long Does a Snakebite Take to Affect a Dog?

by Jane Meggitt Google
    Learn to recognize poisonous snakes in your area and avoid their habitats when out with your dog.

    Learn to recognize poisonous snakes in your area and avoid their habitats when out with your dog.

    NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

    When it comes to snakebites, there's no standard formula as to how long it takes for the venom to affect a dog. Much depends on the type of snake, depth of the bite and size of the canine. Just be sure to get your dog to an emergency vet as soon as possible. The vet can administer antivenin serum to your pet to neutralize snake venom.

    Speed

    According to VeterinaryPartner.com, irreversible effects from venom start soon after the dog is bitten, so time is of the essence in getting your dog treated. A dog bitten on the trunk of the body can die within half an hour from organ failure, according to the New York Times, while you probably have more time if he's bitten on his foot. If you're not certain the snake was venomous, don't take chances. A bite by a non-venomous snake, or a dry bite -- a bite without venom -- by a venomous snake won't harm your dog, but you need a vet to examine your buddy.

    Statistics

    According to the website PetMD, there aren't good statistics on the numbers of dogs killed by snakebite annually because there's no central data source for this information. It cites a long-time veterinarian practicing in snake country who estimates that approximately 20 percent of dogs bitten by certain venomous snakes die.

    Dog Size

    The amount of venom that just causes swelling and discomfort in a large breed dog can kill a little pooch. Larger poisonous snakes usually inject more venom in a bite than smaller species. A large snake biting a small dog means that, based on body weight, little dogs receive higher amounts of venom.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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