ABSTRACT: Pit viper envenomation is commonly seen throughout the world, including the United States. The majority of cases seen by the author involve rattlesnake envenomation in dogs. The prompt recognition and initiation of treatment are important to get these patients back home again. This paper will focus on the pathophysiology, progression, and treatment of pit viper envenomation in dogs.

Pit viper envenomation is the most common envenomation seen in dogs in the United States. Approximately 150,000 cases are reported yearly (Armentano and Schaer, 2011.) There are two families of venomous snakes in the United States: Crotalidae (pit vipers: rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths) and Elapidae (cobras: coral snake)(Gold et al., 2004).

This paper will focus on the pathophysiology, clinical signs, and treatment of pit viper envenomation in dogs.


Brandy Tabor CVT, VTS (ECC)

Brandy has lived in Colorado most of her life. After working for four-and- a-half year’s in the Colorado State University Critical Care Unit, she moved to Parker, CO, where she has worked at the Animal Emergency & Specialty Center for the past eight-and-a-half years. She became a member of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians in 2008 and was recently named the 2014 co-chair of the academy’s credentialing committee.

Brandy has a passion for writing and has written several papers for Veterinary Technician magazine including ‘Recognizing and Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis’, ‘Diabetic Ketoacidosis’, ‘Canine Parvovirus’, ‘Heatstroke in Dogs’, ‘All Things Considered: Thromboelastrography’, and ‘Osteoarthritis’.

Keywords: Clinical, Envenomation, Viper

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 29 (01) • January 2014 • pp

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