Envenomation of domestic animals by snakes occurs frequently in certain geographic areas.
However, reports describing clinical signs, clinicopathologic abnormalities, therapeutic approaches,
and outcomes are sparse. This review summarizes various snake families, venom types associated with
harmful snakes, and the significant hematologic, hemostatic, and biochemical abnormalities associated
with envenomation. Hematologic abnormalities include RBC membrane abnormalities, hemolysis,
hemoconcentration, leukogram changes, and platelet abnormalities, specifically thrombocytopenia.
Coagulopathies associated with snake envenomation are well described in human medicine, and many
studies have demonstrated properties of venoms that lead to both procoagulation and anticoagulation.
As expected, similar abnormalities have been described in domestic animals. Biochemical
abnormalities are associated with the effects of venom on tissues such as liver, skeletal and cardiac muscle, vascular endothelium, and kidney as well as effects on protein components and cholesterol.
This comprehensive review of clinicopathologic abnormalities associated with envenomation and their
relationship to characterized venom constituents should be useful both in the diagnosis and
management of envenomation and serve as a foundation for future research in this field.