North American Snake Envenomation in the Dog and Cat

      Venomous snakes are found in 47 of the 50 US states.
      • Peterson M.E.
      Snake bite: pit vipers.
      The majority of venomous snakebites occur in the southwestern United States.
      • Gold B.S.
      • Wingert W.A.
      Snake venom poisoning in the United States: a review of therapeutic practice.
      Approximately 4700 human exposures to venomous snakes are reported to poison control centers annually.
      • Seifert S.A.
      • Boyer L.V.
      • Benson B.E.
      • et al.
      AAPCC database characterization of native U.S. venomous snake exposures, 2001–2005.
      It is estimated that 150,000 animals, primarily dogs and cats, are bitten in the United States every year.
      • Peterson M.E.
      Snake bite: pit vipers.
      Although human mortality following snakebite in the United States is low (0.06%),
      • Seifert S.A.
      • Boyer L.V.
      • Benson B.E.
      • et al.
      AAPCC database characterization of native U.S. venomous snake exposures, 2001–2005.
      reported mortality in dogs ranges from 1% to 30%.
      • McCown J.L.
      • Cooke K.L.
      • Hanel R.M.
      • et al.
      Effect of antivenin dose on outcome from crotalid envenomation: 218 dogs (1988–2006).
      Snakebite poses a significant risk of morbidity in humans as well as domestic animal species. Veterinarians must be aware of the venomous snakes in their practice area, be able to recognize the clinical picture typical of an envenomation by these snakes, and be equipped to treat these patients.

      Keywords

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