PACE, Fla. (WKRG) — A Santa Rosa County veterinarian is warning pet owners to keep an eye out for snakes this summer.
Brian Brayton, a veterinarian with Woodbine Animal Clinic in Pace, Florida told News 5 the clinic has treated two dogs this week for snake bites. This year, the clinic has treated about six pets bitten by snakes.
“It happens quite often,” Brayton said.
Photographs posted on the clinic’s Facebook page show a Doberman and Cocker Spaniel with swelling in their faces.
“With a snake bite, within 30 minutes, I mean, things will be three and four times the size they were before,” Brayton said.
The dogs were treated and are recovering fine.
Still, Brayton said pet owners should be on the lookout for snakes in their backyards or when walking pets. Pets bitten by snakes should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible to treat the bite with anti-venin, Brayton said.
“The quicker the treatment, the better the survival rate,” he said.
Brayton said pet owners can take steps to reduce the likelihood of their yards becoming a snake habitat by keeping the grass cut short. Additionally, pet owners can turn off outside lights at night that attract snakes’ prey, like frogs.
Other items that attract snakes’ prey, like rats, includes stacked lumber. Bird feeders attract squirrels, which can also be a snake’s snack.
Snakes enter yards to find food or a place to live, Brayton said, and they’re much more active in the hotter months of summer.
Brayton emphasized to News 5 that “not all snakes are bad,” and bites are a defense mechanism to curious pets.