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Keywords:

  • Key words;
  • Coral snake;
  • canine;
  • envenomation;
  • anaphylaxis;
  • hemolysis

Summary

The purpose of this study is to report on five cases of coral snake envenomation in the dog to substantiate earlier findings in four dogs reported previously, and to describe any additional clinical features that have not yet been noted. The combined results from both studies allow for a more accurate projection of the frequency of certain clinical signs. Both groups showed signs of lethargy, lower motor neuron weakness (8 of 9 dogs) and varying hematologic changes with hemolysis and hemoglobinuria occurring most commonly (7 of 9 dogs). Cardiac dysrhythmias were recorded infrequently (2 of 9 dogs). Not reported previously was the presence of a subtle bite wound located on the upper or lower lip of three dogs in the present series. An unexpected finding in this second series was the occurrence of an anaphylactoid reaction in one dog presumably attributed to the antivenin. Close examination of the lip might reveal the site of envenomation (as found in 4 of 9 dogs from both studies). Treatment with coral snake antivenin should be given as early as possible and followed by close observation for signs of anaphylaxis. The results of this study substantiate earlier findings and provide for a larger data base for further reference.