Now that trails in Malibu and elsewhere are open for hiking, beware of rattlesnakes. With warm weather this past month, reptiles are more active and could be found on trails. Sightings have been reported in Malibu on trails, backyards and neighborhood streets. While no bites to humans have been reported in the area yet in 2020, according to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, a few dogs have had encounters recently.
A spokesperson at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital (MCAH) said a few canine victims were seen at the veterinary clinic. MCAH offers rattlesnake vaccines for $44 for an initial shot. A follow-up vaccine is needed a month later and then boosters are given every six months.
Sergeant Armstrong at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station advised, “Be careful on trails, near brush, logs or boulders” where rattlers could be hidden. The department issued an advisory stating, “In the event you get bitten, call 9-1-1. Stay calm, apply a cold wet cloth over the bite. don’t do the following things: do not apply a tourniquet. Do not pack the bite area in ice. Do not cut [the] wound with [a] knife or razor. Do not attempt to suck out the venom.”
A spokesperson at Malibu Urgent Care urged bite victims to go straight to an emergency room.