A PRESUMPTIVE POISONOUS SNAKEBITE IN A SHEPHERD DOG IN JUIZ DE FORA, MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL - CASE REPORT
ABSTRACT. Colling A., Andriolo A. & Campolina I. A presumptive poisonous snakebite in a Shepherd dog in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil - Case report. [Uma presumível picada de cobra venenosa num cão pastor em Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brasil - Relato de caso]. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 33(1):12- 17, 2011. Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO 5 Portarlington Rd.Victoria, Austrália. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org This paper presents a case report of a presumptive poisonous snake bite in a 12 months old shepherd dog in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The dog had returned after wandering around a farm on the afternoon of Day 1. On the morning of Day 2 “Mel” presented a swollen head, hemorrhage from both nostrils and mouth, salivation and weakness. In spite of the evident clinical manifestations, “Mel” was alert during the examination. The body temperature was slightly increased (38.8ºC). Despite the apparently stable condition, at the end of Day 2, “Mel” suddenly suffered a severe circulatory crisis with respiratory standstill causing a life-threatening situation, which required immediate intensive hospital care. Infestations with tick-transmitted blood parasites (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) such as Rickettsia are frequent in the region, and they have the potential to increase the impact of snakebite. At the end of Day 3, “Mel’s” clinical signs were stable again. On the morning of Day 4, treatment was finished and the dog released from hospital. Based on our experience, we recommend suspect snakebites to be treated seriously with patients being hospitalized immediately. A sudden circulatory crisis is possible and may need to be dealt with extreme emergency to avoid life-threatening complications. Farm dogs fulfil important functions such as watch and hunt dogs and frontline biological detectors of venomous animals. Based on anecdotal evidence, we estimate that they are likely to prevent human exposure. But further socioepidemic studies, e.g. comparison of prevalence and incidence rates of contact cases in humans on farms with and without dogs are necessary to test and quantify this hypothesis. We describe clinical signs, treatment and recovery of a supposed bothrops snakebite as a brief case study.