Austin veterinarians have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to KVUE.
Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital told the station, “The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they’re cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that.”
The story does not offer any specific figures to back the claim.
If you live in an area that is especially populated by rattlesnakes, some veterinarians recommend the Red Rock Rattlesnake vaccine, which helps dogs develop antibodies that can neutralize rattlesnake venom. Dogs have to be 16 weeks old to receive the vaccine. Although it can help slow any effect the venom has, it is still important to get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect it has been bitten by a rattlesnake.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the recent hotter than usual weather has at least one upside: rattlesnakes rattle when its warmer, serving as the perfect warning for you and your best friend.