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Rattlesnakes are probably the most important threat in this slideshow to be aware of, as hiking dogs may not recognize a rattler’s scent or sounds – and end up bitten on the muzzle, says Dr. John Tegzes, a veterinary toxicologist at Western University School of Veterinary Medicine. The venom acts on various tissues causing swelling, oozing and clotting of blood, and necrosis of tissues as the venom works to immobilize its prey and to start the digestive process. Bleeding problems often occur in the following days and can be life-threatening.

Location: Many states harbor some variety of rattlesnake but the Mojave rattlesnake is regarded as the most dangerous because its neurotoxins stop prey from breathing, says Dr. Tina Wismer , veterinary toxicologist and medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Mojaves call the Southwest home.

Rattlesnakes dominated the 251 snake-bite claims handled in 2011 by Veterinary Pet Insurance; snake bites, on average, cost $1,123.08.

What to do if your pet is bitten: Limit your pet’s movements, keep him calm and seek immediate veterinary care.

(Credit: Bigstockphoto)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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