Rattlesnake season begins

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Local expert urges caution

PASO ROBLES — While warmer temperatures here on the Central Coast are encouraging residents to spend time outside, it is simultaneously encouraging certain reptiles to do the same, specifically rattlesnakes.

Rattlesnakes are known for their venomous bite, Paso Robles Veterinary Medical Clinic client support team member Gena Williams said. The venom itself is so life-threatening because it thickens, or coagulates, the victim’s blood, so much so that eventually the blood can no longer circulate.

Because of the snake’s durability and dangerous bite, it is of utmost importance that local outdoor enthusiasts make themselves — as well as their four-legged friends — aware of the necessary rattlesnake precautions.

One of the most effective and easiest safety measures is to train pets to avoid rattlesnakes. An animal’s behavior is often a good indicator to its owner as to the presence of a snake or other predator. Because animals are generally alerted through their superior sense of smell, sight and sound it is fair for an owner to assume that no predator has been detected if their pet’s behavior has not changed.

Every bite releases a different amount of venom and treatment depends on how far away the bite is from the heart, but it’s always important to stay calm and call 911 as soon as possible. An increased heart rate will only spread the venom quicker.

For any questions regarding rattlesnake precautionary measures, call Paso Robles Veterinary Medical Clinic at 805-238-4622.

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