Snake got your paw?
Dr Jonathan Young and veterinary nurse Rachel McNamara treat Jack the cat of Duffy who has been bitten by a snake. Photo: Karleen Minney
Hot weather, long grass and curious pets are conspiring for a spring with plenty of snake bites in and around Canberra.
Seven cats and dogs have been treated for snake bites at Canberra Veterinary Hospital in Lyneham in the last six weeks.
But household pets are not the only animals in danger with two horses treated at the Canberra Equine Hospital.
A Burmese cat named Jack had a brush with an eastern brown snake this week and is now one of many that will be staying in doors this summer.
Dave and Deb Petersen's 5-year-old cat of Duffy was one of two treated with antivenom by Weston Woden Animal Hospital at the weekend.
Veterinarian Jonathan Young said Jack was admitted on Sunday after being bitten earlier in the week by a brown snake.
"It is common for cats to collapse when they are bitten and then gradually show signs of weakness and paralysis of the hind legs and then the rest of the body over one to two weeks. Whilst dogs go down hill more quickly," Dr Young said.
Dr Young said it is never to late to take your cat to the vet for a snake bite.
"Cats recoveries vary on when they receive antivenom. If they are given it on the day they can make a quick recovery and it takes longer the later they are given antivenom."
Veterinary Nurse Rachel McNamara said Jack is expected to make a full recovery this week.
"Jack is a sweetie, he doesn't growl at all. He purrs all the time and his eyes light up as soon as he sees his dinner bowl," Ms McNamara said.
Veterinarian Michael Archinal said they are expecting more snake bite cases in the coming weeks.
"We normally see more snake bites in warmer weather. So as the weather heats up we are expecting to see a lot more cases," Dr Archinal said.
Canberra Nature Park Ranger in Charge Kristy Gould said the ideal temperature for snakes was 25 degrees.
"Snakes are weather dependent and become more active in September as the weather warms up," Ms Gould said.
But as the weather is forecasted to reach a maximum of 35 degrees this weekend Ms Gould said snakes will most likely be out in the morning and evening.
She recommended that pet owners keep their dogs on a lead and cats inside or in a cat run to protect them from the eastern brown and red-bellied black snakes around the region.
"Cats can't help themselves with snakes, they like to to try to catch them and can even bring snakes into the house. Dogs are more likely to stand at a distance, but smaller dogs like Jack Russells are likely to try to bite them as well.'