Snakes are a fact of life in the southwestern regions like New Mexico, especially during the summer months. In Los Lunas, you may have even found some snakes in your backyard. And though it is always best to keep a keen eye out for all types of snakes, sometimes snakes are unavoidable.
Here are some prevention and first aid tips for you and your pets. Follow these to help avoid injury or other potentially serious problems.
1. Do not try to capture or handle a snake. Unless you are a trained expert in snake and snake handling, you should simply assume all snakes and other wild animals do not want to be handled.
2. Prevent your pets from investigating snakes. Dogs and cats are naturally curious creatures. Do your best to keep them away from potentially aggressive or poisonous snakes
3. Walk in cleared areas where it is easy to see where you and your pet step. Make sure areas you may be reaching toward are clear as well.
4. Use a walking stick to rustle shrubs or brush to alert snakes of your presence. It is not your dog’s job to flush snakes out of the brush
5. Wear protective clothing – long pants and boots are best. Wear gloves when using your hands to move rocks or brush.
6. Get your pet vaccinated for snakebites, come into our daily shot clinic. You never know who or what your pet may run into on a trail.
7. Always carry your cell phone in case of an emergency. Program it with the New Mexico Poison Help Hotline – (800) 222-1222, and the Vetco phone number (505) 864-0662 in case of emergency.
8. If you or your pet is bitten by a poisonous snake, try to remain calm. Avoid any potential contact with the snake (getting your self bit as well does nothing to protect your pet). Keep the bite areas immobilized above the heart, and get to a hospital or veterinarian immediately. All snakebites are serious and require medical attention.