BIG SPRING, Texas (KMID) — Melanie Gambrell has seen her fair share of snakes, and this summer is no exception.
“I’ve already had two rattlesnakes in two different dog pens, a baby dead rattlesnake at the back door, and had a bull snake slither across my foot the other morning,” said Gambrell.
Spencer Ayer, a Vet Assistant at Highland Animal Hospital in Big Spring, says the high temperatures mean snakes are more active.
This higher activity of rattlesnakes means a greater risk of pets coming into the veterinary hospital with snake bites.
“This year that we’ve seen in the clinic we’ve had 15 and it’s pretty close to the beginning of the season. Last year, I think we had a total of 40 all year,” said Ayer.
The clinic has had their hands full and say it’s very important to vaccinate your dogs and cats.
“A series of shots that actually have a little bit of snake venom in them and it helps with some of the sudden shock symptoms of the rattlesnake bite and gives you more time to react and get help,” added Ayer.
She says the symptoms pets can deal with are very similar to humans, which should be more reason to make every second count.
“If you realize your pet has been bit or even suspicion of being bit, if you’re not sure, get them to a vet as fast as possible,” said Ayer.
And Gambrell says the vaccine makes a difference.
“I’ve had a dog that had one set of vaccines and he had been bit five different times and he lasted one week before he passed away,” said Gambrell.