When a snake bites your dog

When a snake bites your dog

You ask – we answer:

Q: Other than identifying what type of snake, what should an I do if my lab is ever bitten by a poisonous snake?

A: The best thing to do is to immobilize your pet and seek veterinary attention immediately. Antihistamines can help to minimize the effect but should be given by a professional who can determine proper dosage and route. Venomous snakes can cause serious cardiovascular, neurological and dermatological issues, so time is of the essence in initiating treatment.

Q: What causes flies to attack my dog’s ears and what can I do for it?

A: Biting flies will attack dog ears to collect a blood meal. There is less hair on ears, and the thin skin — as well as the dog’s inability to protect that part of the body — make the ears a prime target. There are ointments that can be purchased that contain citronella, a fly repellent. Putting this product on the tip of dogs’ ears can be a great help.

Q: My 10-year-old dachshund went through allergy testing at the vet’s. Basically she is allergic to everything that blooms in the spring. Is there an allergy pill available for dogs? I was told that the only thing that she could be given was allergy shots. Thanks.

A: There is currently no allergy pill to desensitize your dog to her allergens. There are medications (antihistamines, cortisone) that will help with the itching, but they do not take away the underlying cause. Allergy shots can help many patients; once the allergens are determined, a vaccine is produced, and then small amounts of the allergens are introduced into the body subcutaneously — thereby helping the pet build up an immunity to them. If you have not done so already, a referral to a veterinary dermatologist would be a great next step.

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