Last week I attended the 14th International Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Symposium. It was a terrific symposium attended by veterinarians and technicians dedicated to providing the best emergency care possible for our animal friends. For the next two weeks, I will be blogging about things I learned at the conference. I hope you will find the information useful.
FIRST AID FOR RATTLESNAKE BITES
The toxin in rattlesnake venom is made up of large molecular weight proteins. Because of their size, the toxic molecules cannot cross directly into blood vessels. Instead, the toxin is carried through the body in the lymphatic system. What does this mean for you or you pet? First, do not try to “suck out” the venom or make the patient bleed. Instead, flush the wound with copious amounts of clean water. Then place a snug bandage over the area of the bite wound. Compression from the wrap decreases toxin spread by compressing the lymphatic channels. There is no need to tourniquet the affected limb. Second, get medical attention as soon as possible. Early treatment is always the best.