Gwinnett County

Veterinarian gives warning after several dogs bitten by Copperhead snakes

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Local veterinarians say they are alarmed by a string of venomous snakebites.

Channel 2's Berndt Petersen spoke to a Gwinnett County vet who said she has seen five dogs in the last week that had been bitten by copperhead snakes.

The last of the dogs was brought into the Dr. Kim Neff’s office while Petersen was there working on this story Thursday.

Neff said there is an antidote for your pet if they get bitten, but not every vet may have it.

"It's kept frozen, so it's fresh," Neff told Petersen. “Not all veterinarians carry anti-venom."

Dog owner John Andrews told Petersen he knew that but said some people may never make it to the pet hospital on time.


"Unfortunately, if you're at work eight hours a day and leave your dog outside, if they get bit in the morning, you're not going to know," Andrews said.

Neff can't say whether we're in for a bad season for snakebites but told Petersen that it has been a bad week for sure.

She said some vets and their patients swear by a vaccine that's out there, but she is not one of them.

"Even if you got the vaccine it may minimize symptoms a little bit, but not enough to not require treatment. So, you'll have to get treatment with anti-venom either way," Neff said.

The anti-venom is expensive. Neff told Petersen the treatment is more than $100 for a dose. But she said it's a lifesaver.