With the various types of snake that inhabit the globe being wide spread, it is more common that most people initially think for a dog to eat a snake either in its own yard or while out for a walk. Due to this, we constantly see people reaching out and asking for guidance on their dog eating a snake to try and ensure that their dog will be ok and not have any negative side effects of eating the snake.
With so many people reaching out for advice after their dog has eaten a snake, we have decided to publish our own dedicated article going over the process to try and help as many of our readers as possible. We constantly see people panicking due to seeing their dogs eating a snake so we hope that our article will be able to help put your mind at ease.
As we see a few variations of the same questions that require a slightly different answer, we have added a table of contents below. You can click either of the specific sub-headers in the table of contents to be taken directly to that section of the article without having to skim through the whole thing if needed.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Snake!
The majority of dogs who eat a snake will be fine due to only twenty percent of snakes actually being venomous and their venom only being effective if it is injected into the bloodstream directly. Although your dog may vomit after eating a snake, this is usually nothing to worry about and your dog should return to normal within a few hours.
If you do notice any strange symptoms in your dog of if you are able to see bite marks from the snake in your dog then it is important that you seek assistance from a veterinarian as soon as possible. The quickest way to get professional, veterinarian assistance is usually to book a video call with a vet as they are able to assess your dog and offer the best course of action moving forward directly in the video call. Most of this time this can work out to be much cheaper and quicker than a trip to your local veterinarians too.
Although around twenty percent of snakes are classed as being venomous, less than half of them have venom strong enough to affect your dog so the odds really are stacked in your favor. This is why, most of the time if your dog does end up eating a snake, it will be totally fine and is often nothing to worry about. It is often better to be safe than sorry though and due to video calls with vets being so cheap, most dog owners do opt to take that route even if they are confident that their dog will be fine anyway.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Dead Snake?
The majority of the time a dog eats a dead snake it will be fine and not show any negative symptoms at all. Most dog owns instantly worry about the venom in the snake but with a dead snake, its venom often dissipates quickly and the main risk to your dog is infection or parasites that are living on the dead snake’s body.
If you do notice that your dog is vomiting or acting strangely after eating a dead snake, we would recommend that you book a short video call with an online vet to have them check your dog over. Most of the time the vomiting is not serious and once the dead snake has been removed from your dog’s stomach, it will usually return to full health quickly but it is better to be safe than sorry.
As we touched on earlier, the venom in a snake is usually not the main cause of illness in a dog that does eat a dead snake as parasites can quickly occupy the dead snake. Due to this, your dog may require some specific medication to help kill any parasites that are in its stomach to help it return to full health as quickly as possible but professional veterinarians will be able to advise you better on this.
Can Snakes Make Dogs Sick?
Some snakes are able to make a dog sick if they do manage to land a bit but only around ten percent of snakes have venom that are able to make your dog sick. This is why the majority of dogs that are bitten by a snake or who eat a snake are totally fine and won’t need professional help from a vet after their encounter with the snake.
Due to snake venom actually being venom rather than poison, it needs to be injected into your dog’s bloodstream via a bite. This means if your dog does not get bitten by the snake and simply eats it, the venom should not cause any serious problems if injected but it can cause some light vomiting until it is purged from your dog’s system.
Constrictor snakes can cause harm to your dog by crushing it with larger constrictor snakes easily being able to break the limbs of dogs of all sizes. These injuries tend to be much easier to see in a dog but if you do suspect that your dog has had an encounter with a constrictor snake then you should instantly seek assistance from a veterinarian.
Can A Dog Die From Eating A Snake?
Although it is very rare, dogs can actually die from eating a snake so if your dog does start to convulse, vomit or suffer from diarrhea after eating a snake, you should seek guidance from a veterinarian. Thankfully, it is very rare that your dog will die due to earing a snake so the odds really are in your dog’s favor to make a full recovery.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, only around twenty percent of snakes are venomous, and only around ten percent have a venom that is able to directly affect your dog. On top of that, venom has to be injected into the bloodstream via a bite to work to its maximum effect rather than consumed. And then, when dogs eat a snake they tend to just eat random parts of it and may not even eat the venom sacks.
This is why so many dogs who do eat snakes quickly make a full recovery and have minimal side effects. Those dogs who do experience side effects after eating a snake usually only experience small amounts of vomiting and diarrhea with less of an appetite than usual too until they have purged the snake from their system.
Should I Let My Dog Kill A Snake?
You should never let your dog kill a snake as some snakes can pose a serious risk to the health of your dog. A bite from one of the venomous snakes whose venom can affect dogs can cause serious injury or even death while the larger constrictor snakes can easily crush the bones of most dogs if they are able to wrap around your dog.
If you do have a problem with a snake then contacting your local pet control office will almost always be the best solution. Even then though, most snakes will avoid being around humans if possible and slither off into the wild never to be seen again.
The majority of dogs have little to no experience with dealing with snakes either and they will often not be ready for how quickly a coiled snake can actually spring forward to land a bite. Even a none venomous snake that lands a bite on your dog can still end up ripping muscles or veins causing serious injury too so you also have to keep that in mind.
How Long After A Snake Bite Will A Dog Show Symptoms?
Depending on the type of snake, your dog can start to show symptoms of the bite instantly but this is rare due to only a very small number of snakes having venom strong enough to act instantly. Usually, you will start to see symptoms in an hour or two but many snake bites will not have any effect on your dog at all.
If your dog has been bitten by a snake and has started to show symptoms, even if it is just swelling around the bite area, it is highly recommended that you seek professional guidance from a vet. You can book a video call with an online vet to have them check over the dog and get the best possible advice on how to move forward with the treatment for your dog.
Thankfully, the majority of snake bites will not have much of an effect on your dog so your dog will not show any symptoms at all other than having the puncture wounds from the initial bite. A quick wipe down with a Chlorhexidine Wipe should be enough to prevent any risk of infection on the bite area and give you peace of mind that your dog will make a full recovery if it is not showing symptoms of the bite after a few hours.
That brings our article going over what you should do after your dog eating a snake to a close. Although the risk is minimal, there is still a risk so if you are in any doubt at all, checking with a vet is always the best course of action. That said though, the majority of people we see asking for advice due to their dog eating a snake are always thinking the worst and it is unlikely that your dog will have any negative reaction to the bite so try to relax and put your mind at ease.