Can a cat get a copperhead bite?

Our question this week was:

My vet believes my cat was bitten by a copperhead snake. He is slowly recovering, but seems to have small abscesses. They swell then
drain and then heal. Is this a common occurrence?

Dorothy Trent – Glen Rose, TX


Hi – thanks for your email. Cooperhead bites can occur in dogs and cats. Cooperheads bites often occur to the legs and face of dogs and cats. It is more common in dogs but can also occur in cats. Cooperheads will generally bite when confronted by a curious pet.

The wounds may begin as two small punctures that become very swollen and painful and can have a substantial amount of drainage. Infection is a possible problem from bites.

Most cooperhead bites are treated with wound care (clipping and cleaning wounds), benadryl, pain medications and antibiotics may be needed to treat associated infections. Most pets will recover.

It sounds like your cat is doing well which is great news!

An article that might be helpful to you is Snakebites from a Copperhead, Pit Viper, Snake Venom, Rattlesnake, Crotalidae.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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