Poisonous snakes in the United States include:
These include rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. Pit vipers
have a depression between their nose and eyes. Their fangs can retract
and their heads are triangular in shape.
Rattlesnakes can be up to eight feet in length; tails contain a rattle.
Copperheads are about four feet long and have no rattles. The top of the head is a rich, coppery orange color.
Cottonmouths, also known as water moccasins, can grow to four feet in length. The body is dark and the inside of the mouth is snowy white.
1. If you suspect a bite by a poisonous snake, attempt to identify the snake, but don't get close enough to get bitten. If you have to kill the snake to protect yourself or your pet, take it with you for identification. Be aware that the fangs of a decapitated snake head may be venomous for up to 1 1/2 hours.
Check the ABCs of CPR; administer CPR as needed.
3. Check for signs of shock.
4. Attempt to keep the animal calm and still. If possible, carry your pet to the car. Any movement may cause the toxin to spread faster.
5. Put on gloves and wash the wound with water and mild soap. Do not cut open the wound or attempt to suck out the venom! Do not place ice on the area or use a tourniquet! (Depending on the situation, such actions may do more harm than good.)
6. Immediately transport the animal to a veterinary hospital.
7. Some non-poisonous snakes may also bite. This bite may cause an allergic reaction. If your pet is bitten by a non-poisonous snake, treat as your a puncture wound and watch for allergic reactions. If you are unsure if the snake was poisonous, follow steps 1-6.