Are there any side effects that a dog can suffer after having been bitten and treated for a snake bite?
My friend’s dog was treated with Antivenin, but ever since the bite and treatment he suffers periodically from some sort of seizure (he seems to lose control over his body).
After the seizure is over, he appears to be back to normal.
Thank you for your question.
Yes, there are side effects that a dog (or cat) bitten by a rattlesnake can suffer post-bite. Even having been vaccinated (with Crotalus Atrox Toxoid [CAT]), there will be some degree of inflammation, infection and necrosis (tissue decay).
There can additionally be more severe problems, such as a coagulopathy (abnormality in the blood clotting system); hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells); liver, kidney or other organ system failure; and other problems.
Unfortunately, providing a dog with the vaccination does not mean that emergency treatment should not be pursued. The vaccination can lessen a dog’s severity of reaction and improve the likelihood of survival.
As the snake bite causes such severe inflammation and a significant immune response in the process of getting the situation under control, the neurologic system can also be affected. Perhaps the dog’s seizure threshold has been lowered by the whole experience, and seizures will be more likely to recur in the future.
There could always be another underlying reason the seizures are happening (besides the snake bite and/or vaccination), so it’s important to think outside of the box in these situations.
Make sure your friend has her dog’s advent of seizures evaluated by a veterinarian. If this is a new issue and there is not yet a diagnosis of why the seizures are occurring, she should consider seeing a specialist (veterinary neurologist) based on her veterinarian’s referral.
Dietary, activity and lifestyle modifications, along with nutraceuticals (supplements) and medications, may be needed in attempt to best manage her dog’s condition.