Warm weather this spring may have many wanting to take their dogs out for hikes. But veterinarians are warning about rattlesnakes, and have already seen a few cases of dogs being bitten by them this season.
"It's not uncommon for dogs to put his nose on top of the rattlesnake and be bitten two or three times," said Len Ramirez, who runs his own rattlesnake removal company.
Ramirez added that in Northern California, these reptiles can take lives.
"Last year we saw 38 dogs killed, two horses, four ponies and a lama," Ramirez said.
Vets at the VCA Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic say they've already had a few canines come in to their emergency room.
"Dogs that are bitten by snakes usually have pretty classic symptoms, usually get pretty sudden onset of severe swelling and painful and bruising usually associated with it... And there are some things we can do. Especially the sooner we see them and treat them, the better," said Peter Vellbutini, a veterinarian and medical director at VCA Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic.
"It's always a good idea to make sure that your lawns are kept low, debris is picked up on your property, crawl spaces are sealed, garage doors are sealed properly," Ramirez said.
This year Ramirez expects to be doing record business, because higher rainfall averages have forced many snakes out from typically dry creek beds and into people's back yards.
"If you want to protect your pets, or you have small children, it's not a bad idea to incorporate some type of a snake guard... And what this would detail is some sort of quarter-inch mesh along the existing fence," Ramirez told FOX40.