Friday, July 8th, 2016

Anti-venom to save pets from snakebites

Narada Desk | July 8, 2016 11:32 am Print
New anti-venom to help household pets from deadly snakebites

It is summertime and you and your pets are spending a lot more time outdoors enjoying the pleasant weather! Well guess what, you’re not the only creatures enjoying the nice weather. Yes, about this time of year veterinarians begin to see dogs and cats come into the hospital for treatment of snakebites.

Australian scientists have developed a new anti-venom treatment which will help save thousands of household pets from deadly snakebites.

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have produced a more effective and lower cost anti- venom that will help reduce the number of deaths among dogs and cats bitten by venomous snakes in Australia, Xinhua news agency reported.

Australia is home to 10 of the most venomous snakes in the world, and bitten pets are often unable to be saved as current treatments can be expensive, ineffective and difficult to access.

How do you know if a venomous snake has bitten your pet? A dog or cat bitten by a venomous snake will be extremely painful where he/she is bitten. Dogs and cats can be bitten anywhere, but they are often bitten on the muzzle or on a limb. You may be able to see two puncture wounds from the fangs, but these wounds can be difficult to see. The most common finding that you will easily be able to detect is swelling around the bite site. The pet may be very weak and lethargic and there can be some vomiting, but these signs are not always present.

When a snake bites an animal it injects venom via the fangs into the tissue below the skin. Venom is rapidly absorbed from the site of the bite and carried mainly by the lymphatic system into the animal’s circulation.

CSIRO scientists coordinated with small biotech companies in regional Victoria to produce the treatment of venomous snakebites from the Eastern Brown and Tiger snakes.

Andrew Padula from Padula Serums, said the partnership with CSIRO helped turn his new anti-venom idea into a reality.

“I’ve been working on anti-venom serums for dogs and cats for a while now but I really needed the expert equipment and skills of the CSIRO scientists to make the best product possible,” Padula said in a statement on Friday.

Once the final testing of the product has been completed and the anti-venom has been given the green light for sale from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, it will become available on the market and will be used by vets around the country.

The new anti-venom treatment could also be used for treating humans with snakebites, or against the toxins of paralysing ticks.