Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Average adult size is 36-72 inches; the longest reported was 96 inches.
Range: All through Florida and several offshore islands and keys, north to southeastern North Carolina and west to southern Mississippi and parts of Louisiana.
Average adult size is 36-60 inches; timber rattlesnakes over 70 inches have been reported.
Range: This is an endangered specie; its range is limited to small areas of the eastern U.S.
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
Average adult size is 12-24 inches; the longest was recorded at 31 inches.
Range: Throughout Florida, eastern North Carolina and west to parts of Missouri and Texas.
Eastern Coral Snake
Average adult size is 20-30 inches; some exceed 40 inches.
Range: All of Florida and north to parts of North Carolina and west to eastern Texas and northeastern Mexico.
Fortunately, if your dog happens to be bitten by a venomous snake the odds are in favor of a complete recovery. The degree of damage inflicted by a venomous snake is determined by a wide variety of variables. The age and species of snake, the intensity and depth of the fang penetration, the amount of venom injected, the location of the bite, and the size of the dog are just a few of the variables.
In general, snakes want to be left alone. But along comes an inquisitive dog probing every mysterious hole in the ground, sniffing under downed logs, slogging along the riverbank, and digging up leafy patches on the forest floor -- a lightening strike of the serpentine kind may be the result!
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO in the event a snake bites your dog?
First, let me tell you what not to do. Do not take out your pocketknife and cut Xs over the fang marks! Do not attempt to suck venom through those X marks. Do not grab the snake in a fit of anger and attempt to choke it to death. You may be bitten yourself.
Instead, you should:
- Try to identify the snake by taking note of its size, color patterns and the presence or absence of a rattle at the end of the tail.
- Look the dog over carefully for fang marks, noting that there may be more than one bite wound.
- If bitten on a leg, wrap a constricting band on the affected limb snugly at a level just above the bite wound (on the body side of the wound). This band could be fashioned of a shirtsleeve or other fabric and should be snug but not excessively tight. The compression around the limb will slow the spread of the venom. The dog may lose the limb but that is better than losing his life.
- Start your journey to the nearest animal hospital while trying to keep the dog as quiet as possible.