SYMPTOMS: If a rattlesnake does inject venom into a victim, a variety of symptoms develop. Most bite victims experience some or many of the following:
Swelling, pain and bleeding at the site of the bite, sweating, chills, dizziness, weakness, numbness or tingling of the mouth or tongue, changes in the heart rate and blood pressure, salivation, thirst, swollen eyelids, blurred vision, muscle spasms, unconsciousness, improper blood clotting ability
TREATMENT: All rattlesnake bites need treatment. Serious bites are life threatening.
INITIAL FIRST AID: Because most Californians live in rattlesnake country, every family member should be made aware of the following snakebite emergency plan of action. If you are less than one hour from the nearest hospital emergency room, initial treatment is relatively simple:
There are also several "DO NOTs" to remember:
Rattlesnakes and Pets
Your dog or cat if bitten will suffer many of the same symptoms as people and treatment is considered to be an emergency. The same do and don't list applies to dogs and cats. Vaccination treatment is available for dogs. Dr. Greg Anderson at Calaveras Veterinary Clinic in Milpitas (408 262 7200) reports the vaccine will lessen the severity of the bite but it still requires prompt emergency treatment.