by Scott Smith, DVM
My first aid kit is more complete than most as I run hounds out of my work truck, but there are a few things we should all carry to the field when running dogs.
The injectible Benadryl is the thing to have for snakebites. Contact your local Vet for help in putting all of these things together. Hope this helps many of you out with such an important but often neglected item.
Question: In regard to snakebites, I see you recommend Benadryl to treat snakebites, just wondering, have you ever tried Prednisone, or is it not recommended? I use Prednisone 20mg (for an average size Beagle) daily for 3 days, with Amoxicillin 250mg twice a day for 1 week. Works like a charm. Swelling is usually gone after the first day or so. What are your thoughts?
Answer: I was also taught when I moved to the South to steroid treat these snake bitten dogs. Treated many similar to the way you described with good success. I lost a dog that was very dear to me after a snakebite and it was being treated with steroids. This prompted me to pick the brains of some human ER docs, some veterinary internal medicine specialists, and a few select resources. It would appear based upon this research that antihistamines like Benadryl are the safest and best in the field treatment for these bites. I learned this lesson the hard way. I get a lot of dogs snake bitten, and have treated probably 100 bites this way both in the field and in my practice, and have been pleased with the results.