Dr. Timothy James has been involved in various aspects of the medical field throughout his life. In college, he studied tick-borne diseases and illness of muscle proteins and was considering a career
researching infectious diseases. During his undergraduate years, he shadowed several veterinarians and decided that working with small animals would be his new career path.
Dr. James graduated from the University of Georgia, earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2003. From that point on, he was immersed in surgery and emergency medicine. He started his career at a large specialty practice in Indianapolis where he also completed a residency through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
During that time, he also became a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. After several
years in Indianapolis, Dr. James moved to Tennessee, working at the Regional Institute for Veterinary
Emergency and Referrals. It is at that facility where completed a surgical residency program over
Dr. James was most recently a staff surgeon at North Georgia Veterinary Specialists. He
has special interests in surgery of the spine and orthopedics; however, Dr. James also excels in soft
Mountain Emergency Animal Center would like to welcome Dr. James to our team!
It’s Warming Up!!! If you are enjoying the warmer weather now, so are the snakes! As a matter of fact, while driving home, a Garter Snake slithered in front of my car while at a stop sign. Some of my neighbors have told me that they’ve seen Copperheads about.
Venomous snakes injure over 150,000 dogs and cats every year in the US. This data is about 10 years old! So, you can only imagine as we continue to encroach upon their territory, there are going to be more exposures. In our area, the Copperhead is the most common venomous snake; however, there are also Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Cotton Mouth, Pigmy Rattlesnake and Coral Snakes in Georgia. In North Georgia, the Timber Rattlesnake and Copperhead are most commonly the cause of envenomation in pets and people. Rattlesnake venom is much more potent and deadly than that of the Copperhead. All of the snakes listed with the exception of the Coral Snake are Pit Vipers which belong to the family Crotalidae. Pit Vipers have triangular heads, elliptical pupils and “pits” or scent glands where there “nose” is (pic. #1).
Pit Vipers in Georgia:
Pit Viper venom contains over 50 enzymes which damage tissue. The snake uses the venom to immobilize their prey and pre-digest the tissue. Basically, these snakes cannot digest food that well in their gut, so venom breaks down the muscle, the connective tissue and the blood before they ingest it. So, the same thing happens when a dog or cat is bitten. The venom starts to digest the tissue and causes the blood to not clot.
Bites to pets most often occur on their face and front legs. Most owners will say they saw their dog digging after something and then hear a loud “yelp.” Soon after being bitten the area becomes swollen, bruised and very painful.
Signs your pet has been bitten by a venomous snake may include:
• Rapid swelling at the site of the bite
• Severe pain
• Bleeding from the fang punctures
• Discoloration of the skin to dark red or purple
• Bite marks—these may be difficult to see because the pet’s fur
• Rapid breathing
• Collapse (inability to get up)
• Pale gums
What to do if your pet is bitten:
• Limit your pet’s activity and keep your pet calm. This will help decrease the venom from circulating throughout the body. The more activity, the more blood flow and faster the heart beats increasing the amount of venom spread in the body.
• Contact your family veterinarian immediately or an emergency veterinary hospital such as MEAC.
What NOT to do if your pet is bitten:
• Do not place a tourniquet above the bite
• Do not cut over the wound
• Do not try to “suck” the venom out of the area
• Do not apply ice to the area
• Do not apply electrical shock to the area
• Do not give any medications
Typical testing and treatment performed
• Blood tests to check cell counts, blood clotting ability (coagulation times), organ function tests of the liver and kidneys
• X-rays of the chest if the pet is having trouble breathing or congestion in the lungs
• Pain medication
• Cleaning of wounds
• Intravenous fluids for shock and blood loss
• Antivenin administration—this is the best treatment and acts as an antidote to the venom
• Supplemental oxygen
• Plasma and sometimes blood transfusion
• Hospitalization and observation
Mountain Emergency Animal Center is a outstanding emergency vet clinic located in Blue Ridge, GA. They have a full surgical room, ICU kennels, a blood bank, and they keep anti venom on hand at all times. They are fully equipped to deal with any medical emergency your pet may have.
In this video they do a CPR training to show you exactly what you would need to do if your pet goes into cardiac arrest. This is great information for any pet owner.
Mountain Emergency Animal Center
Serving the Tri-State Area (GA, NC, TN)
Call us at 706-632-7879
Pet Emergency? Read no further and call us right away!
Pet emergencies, like human ones, can happen anytime. Your pet’s injuries and illnesses may require immediate attention.