Husky Bitten by Rattlesnake Raises Awareness of Warm Weather Dangers

Tips to Keep Pets Safe from Desert Critters and Other Potential Hazards

As the temperatures rise and the days become longer, it is not just people who are enjoying these temperate Spring days – this time of year poses many different dangers to our four-legged friends while exploring the great outdoors with their families.

As more critters start to come out of hibernation and more desert plants bloom, it’s important to be aware of potential dangers to pets like Dilo, a 2-year-old Alaskan Husky who was rescued by the Arizona Humane Society earlier this month after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Luckily for this pup, she was quickly taken to a local emergency animal clinic where she was initially given anti-venom prior to being transferred to AHS’ Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™. At AHS, she was under intense medical monitoring in the hospital’s triage unit where she underwent a number of treatments including blood transfusions and IV medications. After almost three weeks of treatment, Dilo has been adopted by one of the initial veterinarians who treated her in the local clinic and is now living in Scottsdale.

While this pup was extremely lucky, the best treatment to help our furry friends stay safe is preventing an incident from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe while outdoors:

Snakes, Scorpions and Javelinas, Oh My
While on walks with your pups outdoors, it is important to always ensure they are on a leash that is not too long in length, this gives you control to keep your dog away from hazards such as javelinas on a pathway or snakes in a bush. This also ensures you have a closer eye on your pet so you are better able to identify what bit or stung them. Additionally, keeping your dogs away from bushes or tall grass will decrease their chances of stumbling upon an animal that may be surprised by your presence. Carrying a walking stick is also helpful to create a barrier between your pet or be used as a distraction while directing your pet away from potential hazards.

Shoo Bugs, Don’t Bother Me
With the warmer weather comes a number of pesky bugs that are more dormant during the Winter months. This includes mosquitos, ticks and fleas – all of which can carry potentially fatal diseases. It is important to keep your pets up-to-date with preventative medications to help keep them safe from preventable illnesses such as heartworm or tick fever.

Foxtails… Not So Foxy
Desert plants help create our unique landscape but if a pet comes into contact with burrs or spines from cacti or foxtails, it is important to ensure they get treated. Many desert plants have spines with barbed ends that can work their way deep into their skin, which can lead to serious infection. Dog booties may help protect your pets from this, as well as protect them from cuts, bruises or burning their feet on the hot ground.

If your pet is bitten by a snake or another potentially poisonous creature, getting your pet medical care as soon as possible is key to giving them the best chance for survival. Most emergency animal clinics carry anti-venom if needed, but it is advised to call ahead to ensure they have it. As with any pet medical questions or concerns, it is important to always consult with your veterinarian about your pet’s health and have a list of 24-hour emergency veterinary clinics to take them to in case of an emergency.

Learn More About AHS’ Trauma Hospital