As the weather warms up the danger of our cats finding a snake in the bush around our Canberra suburbs increases.
At first the snakes are slow and easy to catch, but they are also full of venom. If your cats wander away from your yard they may find a snake and attempt to bring it home for you. Usually early in the season cats are faster than snakes and avoid getting bitten. However, every year we see a few cats who don't move fast enough.
A big dose of venom may cause collapse, drooling, trembling, disorientation, dilated pupils and/or vomiting. Some cats appear to recover and then collapse again.
A cat who appears to be drunk or who cannot move at all may have been bitten by a snake some hours or even a day before. They are like 'floppy dolls' and often talk more than usual.It is still important to get your cat to a vet as soon as possible.
The treatment is antivenom, pain relief, intravenous fluids and whatever supportive care is necessary. The majority of cats survive.
The best prevention is keeping your cat indoors.