Snake Bites Average Cost

From 241 quotes ranging from $500 - 6,000

Average Cost

$3,000

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What are Snake Bites?

In general, nonvenomous and venomous snakes tend to have different physical characteristics. Nonvenomous snakes often have round pupils and a rounded head. Venomous snakes usually have elliptical pupils, not unlike a cat's. Their heads are often angled like a diamond or triangle. Most snakes in North America are not venomous. A bite from a nonvenomous snake can still be harmful to a cat, as snakes often carry infection-causing bacteria and a great number of parasites from feeding on dead animals. Snakes need warm weather to function as they are cold blooded. In colder climates, they hibernate during the winter and come out in late spring. Venomous snakes who have just woken from hibernation may carry greater volumes of toxins than at other times of the year. In warmer climates, snakes pose a threat year-round.

Snakes are reptiles that most cats consider as prey. A cat's natural instinct is to curiously investigate a snake, and even to pursue, hunt, and attack the animal. This can end poorly for the cat, as many snakes will bite when they feel threatened. Both venomous and nonvenomous snakes can bite. A venomous snake has the ability to inject powerful toxins into its victim's body that have the potential to be lethal. These include hemotoxins (affecting the blood), neurotoxins (affecting the central nervous system) and cytotoxins (affecting the cells of the body. A venomous bite from a snake can cause kidney failure, tissue death, adverse allergic reaction, and paralysis. Not every bite from a venomous snake involves a release of toxins.

Symptoms of Snake Bites in Cats

The wound caused by a snake bite will vary greatly based on the type and size of the snake itself. Venomous snakes tend to leave two large puncture wounds in the flesh from their fangs. Nonvenomous snakes leave more of a horseshoe shape of smaller incisions. Not all bites are visible, especially in cats with long hair, and some bites do not puncture the skin. Symptoms may worsen as time passes. All signs to watch for include:

  • Swelling
  • Puncture wounds
  • Bleeding
  • Trembling 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weakness
  • Ataxia (unbalanced gait)
  • Tachypnea (rapid breathing)
  • Cyanosis of the gums
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Paralysis 
  • Coma

Causes of Snake Bites in Cats

A cat who is allowed any outdoor exploration may at some point come in contact with a snake. If the snake feels threatened by the confrontation, a bite may follow. Possible causes are listed below.

  • Venturing into areas with long grass
  • Exposure to rural surroundings
  • Hunting or chasing a snake

Diagnosis of Snake Bites in Cats

Unless you are an expert on snakes and you witnessed the bite take place, it is best to treat any snake bite as potentially venomous. Rush the cat to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital immediately so that life saving treatment can be administered. Call ahead to verify if the center you are going to carries antivenin on hand, and get a referral to somewhere that does if they do not. Keep the cat laying down and prevent movement. Try to position the bite area below the cat's heart. A pressure wrap, but not a tourniquet, may be used to slow the cat's circulation.

Once you have arrived at the hospital or clinic, be prepared to answer questions about the location and environment your cat may have been in when bit. If you saw the snake, try to remember details about its appearance to help identify what type it was. Some centers in areas venomous snakes are known to inhabit may carry a snake venom test kit to further assist with snake identification. Full blood work will be needed, including a complete blood count and a biochemical profile. The time it takes for the cat's blood to clot may be measured. The vet may take note of fibrinogen (clotting protein) and platelet counts. 

Differentiation may be needed from other type of bites and wounds. Cultures may be performed to see if any bacterial infections are developing. A fecal exam may help confirm whether parasites are present. All of these tests and evaluations may be performed while the cat is already receiving supportive care.

Treatment of Snake Bites in Cats

In venomous snake bites, the goal of treatment will be to reverse the effects of the venom on the cat's body. In all snake bites the prevention and treatment of infection may be needed. 

Supportive Care 

Stabilization of the cat can greatly help its ability to survive a venomous bite. Hospitalization is required for this care, as intravenous fluids and feeding tubes may be required. Oxygen supplementation can assist in cases when the cat is having trouble breathing. 

Antivenin 

If it has been determined that the cat has been bitten by a venomous snake, the corresponding antivenin should be administered. It may take more than one vial to counteract the effects of the venom. Some cats develop allergic reactions to the antivenin.

Antibiotics 

As snake bites tend to be very unclean, antibiotics are often prescribed to rid the body of any harmful bacteria that may have been left by the snake. These prescriptions generally last from 1-4 weeks.

Recovery of Snake Bites in Cats

It takes most cats a minimum of one to two days to recover from a venomous snake bite with antivenin treatment. If immediate treatment has not been given, venomous bites are often fatal. Once discharged from the hospital, monitor the cat for any worsening in its condition. Keep the cat's activity lowered throughout the healing process. 

Administer all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian. The faster that treatment was received, the better chance the cat has of surviving a venomous snake bite. It may be best to keep cats indoors to prevent possible snake encounters. If you do allow your cat outdoors, do your best to eliminate things that attract snakes, such as piles of wood or long grass. Get to know what snakes live in your area and what they look like. 

Snake Bites Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tigger
Maincoon/Tabby
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness having trouble walking
Weakness having trouble walking.
Weakness

My cat was bitten by some kind of snake not quite sure what kind it was. His face is swollen and he is having trouble eating and drinking and his having trouble walking. Is there anything that I can do for him since I don't have the money to take him for all the tests and antivenom.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2475 Recommendations
Ideally you should visit your Veterinarian since even non-venomous snakes may cause serious complications due to secondary infection. You should bathe the area of the bite wound with a dilute antiseptic and give 5mg of cetirizine to help with the reaction; but I strongly advise visiting a Veterinarian regardless of cost especially if you have venomous snakes in your area. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mimmi
Maine Coon
4.5
Critical condition
1 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Not coming home

Hi our cat didn’t come inside Wednesday night, we found her drinking water from a puddle Thursday but she ran and hid from us when we called to her, we then found her once more in Thursday but she ran off again. We live in rural area with tiger snakes that frequent the area. We are certain she was bitten Wednesday. She is a long haired mainecoon. My question is what are her chances to survive the snake bite on her own?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2475 Recommendations
Tiger snakes are commonly seen around New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia; symptoms of being bitten are dilated pupils, drooling, diarrhoea, vomiting, weakness or paralysis. Depending on the literature cited, cats receiving antivenom therapy have a 90% survival rate compared with around 65% in cats which didn’t receive antivenom; without having Mimmi examined and treated (at least symptomatically) I cannot give any indication of prognosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for prompt reply. We aren’t entirely sure if it were a snake bite but we are rural Victoria and have many around the house. The other thing that possibly could have happened is she’s eaten a mouse or rat that had been poisoned? She Wasn’t paralysed and we didn’t notice anything different in her movements except she wouldnt come to us.

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Jina
domestic short hair
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Inflamation,
Lameness
Inflamation

I am living in Dubai, my cat was bitten by a snake, her paw has started to inflammation , what should I do! I am in the middle of desert and don’t have access to a vet

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1054 Recommendations
Without veterinary care, and depending on the type of snake Jina was bitten by, she could have some problems. Some snakes are quite poisonous, and some will irritate the tissues. There unfortunately aren't any home remedies for a snake bite, and other than rest and possible gentle cold compresses to the area, there may not be very much that you can do for her. If you are able to get her to see a veterinarian, she may need treatment if the swelling becomes severe, she has any tissue sloughing, or she becomes lethargic. I hope that she is okay.

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Sugar
Mixed (?)
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limb Swelling

My cat was bitten by a rattlesnake,was given an antibiotic shot and a steroid shot. I was told that there is still a chance he may not make it. For now I have him in a cool comfortable place, fed him and gave him some water with a syringe. What else should I do in order to make sure he is okay? What should I look out for and how long will it take him to recover if he is able to?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2475 Recommendations
Snake bites can be difficult and unrewarding to treat sometimes; there are many factors involved in treatment of venomous snake bites which include amount of venom administered, time until veterinary care, antivenom or not, secondary infection, general health of cat, other care (supportive and symptomatic) among other factors. At this time, you should continue the treatment prescribed by your Veterinarian and monitor for improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chicken
Idk
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

No appetite limping lethergic

My cat is not even a year old hes inside outside. My cat came in this morning around 10:00am hes been laying down sleeping most of the day. around 4:00pm he got up to use the litter box i noticed when he got out he was limping. I looked at it it wasnt at that time swollen but i saw a couple little bite marks or something? There are other cats in my neighborhood i assumed ut was caused by another cat. About and hour later its very swollen he refused to eat his favorite food he has not ate all day or drank any water that i know of im really worried im not sure what i should do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2475 Recommendations
Bites from other cats, snakes, spiders, other insects among other things can cause a severe reaction leading to swelling of the area around the bite; even non-venomous snakes can cause a severe reaction due to secondary infection. You should visit your Veterinarian if you are unsure about what has bit Chicken so that it can be examined and treated accordingly; without knowing what caused the swelling, I cannot give you specific advice. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sox
American Shorthair
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat has began to cry & follow after me last night. She laid down in the upstairs landing & lay for a long period of time.She usually follows me right away when I go downstairs.Then she finally came down & followed me around & kept crying ?I check her body but did not see anything . Two years ago she got bitten by something on his ear & it swell up like a balloon The swelling went down after a week or so & he had a smaller ear from that event. Then about one month ago he got into a fight with a cat or small animal & it left the small ear with cuts on it. I nursed it a few days until it healed. He has been neutered & has his shots & is about 5 yrs. old.He is just laying around on the patio chair & when I go out on the patio he just raises his head & cries.What is wrong with him ?I am living on a small pension & can't afford a big Vet. bill I feel like he is trying to tell me he is in pain.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1054 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that Sox isn't doing well. Without being able to examine him or know what might have happened to him while he was outside, I am not sure what might be going on with him. There are many clinics that do offer a 'free first exam', that will allow you to at least have him examined by a veterinarian, so that they can determine what might be going on and give you recommendations for any testing or treatment that he might need. I hope that he is okay.

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Crook
orange
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Week.swallon leg and thigh.hard to

My male cat was bitten by something about a week ago no one realized it until we saw the area was bald while cleaning her up I saw the puncture marks there is two sets but one looks like it is turning black the area is swallow and hurts for him to walk.is there anything I can do being it happen so long ago I know dogs have a natural amunity to rattlesnakes but what about cats.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1054 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Nobody has a natural immunity to rattlesnakes, and the wounds can become quite infected and painful. Tissue around the area can slough as the tissues die. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible to have the wound assessed and see what treatment might need to be given. I hope that Crook is okay.

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Max
Cat
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Face swollen

My cat is hiding under our shed we found him last night and he was bleeding from his mouth and nose he will not come to us and I can not reach him. This morning checked on him again still in the same place but his mouth looks swollen and looks as if he can’t open up his mouth , he won’t eat or drink just sitting there and not moving much. I believe he might have gotten bit by a rattlesnake snake it’s been 16 hours since.. he will not come out at all feel helpless

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2475 Recommendations
If you suspect that there has been a rattlesnake (or any other snake) bite, you need to get Max to a Veterinarian for supportive and symptomatic care; the more time that passes means more chances of complications and problems from the venom, secondary infection and the body’s reaction to shock. Find a way to get Max from under the shed as nothing can be done with him under there. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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