Small Animal Info

Snake Bite

On the plateau we regularly see cases of snake bites in our pets. With about ¼ of our country's Common-brown-snake-lighter-colorsnakes being poisonous, on average around 6.5 thousand pets are reported to have been bitten by snakes each year. The species we encounter in Dorrigo include brown snakes, black snakes, tiger snakes and death adders.

 Clinical signs

  • Weakness and/or collapse
  • Vomiting (potentially bloody)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Trembling
  • Increased salivation
  • Excitement OR depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hind limb paralysis
  • Bloody urine
  • Bleeding from the bite site
  • Death


If you have seen your pet with a snake and they are showing associated clinical signs then diagnosis can be easy. If this is not the case we can check the red blood cell levels, urine blood levels, mucous membrane colour and kidney enzymes, or perform a snake bite detection test, which will tell us if a bite has occurred, and if so what species of snake has bitten your pet.

DVC standards of care

  • For mild cases/possible bites, we will keep your pet in hospital to monitor for the progression of clinical signs

  • Cases that are showing clinical signs will be commenced on:

    • Intravenous fluid therapy
    • Hospitalised
    • Antivenom dependent on the species identified
    • Antihistamines to minimise the chance of a reaction to the venom
    • Anticoagulant to prevent kidney damage


Prognosis is influenced by the time taken to provide antivenom administration and the amount of venom injected into your pet. Please note that with antivenom the survival rate of your pets increases from 66% to 91% in cats and 31% to 75% in dogs.

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Clinic Details

Clinic Hours
Mon - Fri:8.30am - 5.00pm

Phone:02 6657 2416
Emergency:02 6657 2416(24 hours)
Fax:02 6657 2797

Address:12 Hickory St,

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