Dog vs venomous snake

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Dog vs venomous snake


Post by Scuba » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:08 am

So, this is based on a recent experience. This year, I brought all 3 of my dogs to the ButtBake since my family flew to the East coast during that same time period. Faith, my trail dog has walked over at least 3 copperheads that I know of and never been bit. Unfortunately, the very first night out, Lady our youngest dog was bit on the foot by what we assume was a copperhead. She didnt cry out, and we only knew when Andy saw her limping, then we saw how swollen her foot was. Here is what we did/had done.

1st, we took her to the emergency vet...$98 just to walk in the door.
Then they examined her and took labs, one area of concern they were looking at was her PT/PTT...basically the ability of her blood to clot. They also stared her on an IV, antibiotics and pain pills. They also did subcutaneous fluid therapy on her. This is a way to keep giving her fluids even after she has left the clinic by injecting a large amount of water into the area near her neck/shoulders which is slowly absorbed by the body. It was funny because when they first did it she looked like a doggie Hunchback of Notre Dame, then the next day as gravity took over, she had Dolly Parton boobs until it totally absorbed. Add another $380 on.

The labs came back fine and I was given my options. Antivenin @ $600 per vial, and multiple vials might be necessary PLUS the $600 fee for keeping her overnight. As a nurse, I asked what are you going to do for her here that I cant do myself, to which they answered, nothing. So they gave me some Antibiotics for her, some Tramadol, and told me to give her Benadryl also and sent us on our way. After taking another $195.

This all happened wednesday evening/night. By Friday afternoon Lady was feeling well enough to start swimming again and the swelling has dimished quite a bit. By Sunday the swelling was almost totally gone.

So here is advice IF your dog gets bit.

Try to identify the snake if possible
Do not cut open the site to get the poison out
Do not ice it down
Do not apply a tourniquet
Do restrict your pets movement as much as possible
Do apply a loose immobilizing wrap to the effected extremity if possible
Head to the vet

Bites to the head and limbs are common and generally not life threatening if the dog is in good health and isn't a midget. Bites to the chest are less common but much more dangerous, get to the vet ASAP.

There is a vaccine for snakebite but there are some catches. This vaccine was developed to provide protection for dogs against Western Diamondback Rattlesnake venom. It is most effective against this snake's venom. Venom from many other snakes found throughout the United States is similar to the venom of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Thus, this vaccine may also provide protection against the venoms of the Western Rattlesnake (including the Prairie, Great Basin, Northern and Southern Pacific varieties), Sidewinder, Timber Rattlesnake, Massasauga and the Copperhead. Partial protection may be obtained against Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake venom.This vaccine does not provide protection against venom from the Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth), Mojave Rattlesnake or Coral Snake. The cost is between $20 and $40 from what i have been able to find out. Initial vaccination is at max effectiveness after about 4-6 weeks and then a booster is necessary every 6 months. Even if your dog is vaccinated, you should still go to the vet after any snakebite, if for nothing else than to treat any potential infection.

"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all." - Gen James Mattis, USMC RET.

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Re: Dog vs venomous snake


Post by GregD » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:08 am

Bummer that she got bit. Glad to hear she came through as well as she did.

I have found no good solution for dog snakebite prevention. Except for camping in the snow.

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