Animal Emergency Centre Warns Pet Owners of Rattlesnake Bite Risk

STUDIO CITY, Calif., July 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. Morgan Cavanaugh of Animal Emergency Centre in Studio City is warning pet owners to be vigilant when they and their pets are hiking, camping or playing in potential rattlesnake habitats, adding that this can be just about anywhere in Southern California. Dr. Cavanaugh says that if a pet is bitten, they should receive immediate veterinary treatment as rattlesnake bites are fatal without intervention. The Animal Emergency Centre has an antivenin bank and can provide treatment to a pet if it is bitten.

"Pets are naturally curious," says Dr. Cavanaugh. "So if they accidentally stumble upon a rattlesnake, they often confront it, which leads to potentially lethal bites on the muzzle, forelimbs or neck, which require antivenin administration as fast as possible."

Dr. Cavanaugh advises extreme caution when dealing with snakes and pets that have been bitten by them. He says not to attempt to catch or approach a snake, adding that pets that have been bitten may also act aggressively toward their owners because they are in pain. Approach them with caution and try to bundle them up carefully and snugly in a blanket for transportation to the hospital. He says not to apply ice or a tourniquet, as this will worsen the situation.

Pet owners should act fast if they spot rattlesnake bite symptoms, says Dr. Cavanaugh. The pet will be in extreme pain, may act aggressively, and will likely have swelling around the bite site. Two fang puncture wounds may be visible, but sometimes these are hard to see, he says. Facial bites can cause urgent difficulty breathing. Sometimes a pet will vomit or become lethargic. He says that while these symptoms may have other causes, it is critical to have the pet exhibiting them checked by a veterinarian immediately.

Dr. Cavanaugh says that Animal Emergency Centre successfully treats numerous rattlesnake-bitten pets each year. He says that when a pet comes in quickly after a bite, they are able to administer antivenin to save pets' lives. He says that they also frequently need to give transfusions from their blood bank to help pets fully recover.

Animal Emergency Center is a full-service animal hospital providing emergency care overnight, on weekends and holidays. They are located at 11730 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City and can be reached at 818-539-1174; to learn more, visit the website at

CONTACT: Animal Emergency Centre, 818-539-1174Source: Animal Emergency Centre