COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M University experts say spring-like temperatures in areas of Texas mean snakes are coming out of winter hibernation, increasing the likelihood of people and pets getting bit.
A veterinarian with the school's Small Animal Clinical Services, Christine Rutter, says she's already seen cases this year of snakebites on dogs.
Dr. Jill Heatley, an associate professor of veterinary medicine, says snakebite treatment for people can be painful and cost up to $50,000 for venomous cases.
Texas is home to four venomous snakes: the coral snake, copperhead, rattlesnake and cottonmouth, which also is called a water moccasin. Heatley says only the cottonmouth is considered somewhat aggressive and that most snakes probably are "more afraid of you than you are of them."
She says snakes do help control rodents, lizards and bugs.