This webpage is dedicated to Caralee's beloved dog Jack who died from a rattlesnake bite.
one will learn how do you prevent your dog from being bitten from a rattlesnake if you live in an area where there are rattlesnakes and your dogs can be exposed to them or if you take your dogs hunting where there are rattlesnakes?
Caralee will detail how a dog is conditioned to prevent him/her from going near a rattlesnake in a rattlesnake avoidance training program.
Now there is a new dog vaccine by Red Rock Biologics’ for rattlesnake bites and the vaccine made from snake venom will be described so if your dog is bitten, there is a strong likelihood that it does not have to be fatal. The Sawyer Extractor will also be described which is an inexpensive pump which is easy to use and which as the name says extracts the poison from the bite wound. Speak to your vet about extracting snake venom as there have been negative articles about this method also.
There is also Snake Away which is EPA approved and researched by the University of Florida which is sprinkled on the ground to ward off snakes Research on snake away Dr. T's Nature Products, Inc. is exclusively a manufacturer of animal repellants, many of which are "unique to the world" and offer safer alternatives to poisons.
The better choice is to use hardware cloth about 18" up your fence, and partly buried in the ground, but that is very very expensive when you are looking at a couple acres (or more) fenced in for the dogs.
Caralee also found an article about the effective use of Vitamin C and snake bites Vitamin C and snake bitesThere are other articles on the web about Vitamin C and snake bites and the use of vitamin C but I could find no hard research that it really works.
More from Caralee:
"When I discovered the website about using Vitamin C for snakebite, I printed it out and took it to my vet. Yesterday when I was there on an unrelated trip, the first thing the vet tells me is that someone brought in their dog with what appeared to be snakebite. The dog was lethargic, her head had started to swell on day 2, etc. She kept the dog and watched as the head swelled. The lips were swollen and thick; despite the fact that the owners didn't think it was snakebite (and therefore she didn't give it anti-venin) the vet felt sure it was snakebite because nothing else presents with these symptoms. She couldn't find any puncture wounds, but felt perhaps the snake had gotten in just one fang, perhaps under the lip. She kept the dog on IV for another day, but the dog kept getting worse. Anyhow, the dog's face had a big swelling on one cheek; when the dog became agitated, the vet knew she had to do something or the dog was going to die. Remembering the article I gave her and we discussed, she put a massive dose of Vitamin C in the IV--about 10 grams I believe. WITHIN TWO HOURS, the swelling opened up, drained on its own, and the dog got immediately better and went home.
How about THAT!??? II am going to keep some sterile saline solution around and if I need to, I'm putting the powdered Vitamin C in it and injecting my dog FOR SURE if I can't get to the vet in a big hurry and request it from them. That, and anti-venin, of course.
But first a memorial for Jack who was bitten by a rattlesnake and died from the bite.
I remember very well the day we adopted Jack. I had just been reading Vicki Hearne's great book Bandit: Dossier of A Dangerous Dog, which is about the American Pit Bull breed and how maligned it is in the media and court system. I really wanted to adopt a pit bull; they are loving, wonderful dogs who look exactly what I think a dog should look like. So when we were at PetSmart looking at (but not really shopping for) rescue dogs, there was Jack in a small cage. All I saw was his terrier face and I thought he was for sure at least a Pit mix. And then there were Jack's ears-one solid black, and the other white with little black spots. When we opened the cage and let him out, he was like a wound-up spring, jumping and kissing and nuzzling our necks. That was it-he was ours, and we were his. And anyway, we thought it would be nice for Bonnie to have a friend more her size, as all our other dogs were lots bigger than she is. We brought Jackie home and sure enough, when we introduced him to Bonnie, they zoomed in circles through the side yard, just having a blast. And the other dogs took to him just fine, too.
Jack was such a busy little dog. He cruised everywhere, never walking when he could trot or run. When you took him for a walk, even though he weighed only 35 lbs., he would pull you physically up any hill, no matter how long or steep. He came like lightning when you called him. We didn't teach him, that-he just thought maybe he would get some love or a cookie if he came. I can't remember ever seeing Jack really tired.
We always said that maybe we should have named him Braveheart. We knew that if a bear entered our yard, Jack would take him on (maybe he was channeling Pit Bull). So after we got here to Utah, and a rattlesnake hid under the stairs after a big rain, Jack got too close. We discovered the snake and moved it far from the house, but then noticed a swelling around Jack's lip. It was a Sunday morning, and since there are no emergency services in Kanab, and no one in Page was answering, we rushed him to Hurricane, 85 miles away. After getting help from a concerned person at the Chevron station, we roused a vet who, after teaching an hour-long Sunday school class, came and saw Jack. He declared that so long as the bite didn't kill Jack within the first 30 minutes, he would not die. He gave him morphine for the pain and a vial of antibiotics for later, and told us Jack would go through a hard time-but he would come through.
By Tuesday morning, Jack was stumbling, cold, and his lips and gums weren't pale; they were white. We rushed him to our vet, who wasn't open on Monday, but it was too late. Despite her heroic measures with blood transfusions, fluids, and more, his blood could no longer clot, and his kidneys were destroyed. While we watched, Jack had a seizure, went into a coma, and died.
Jack was a little bright light in every day. He sat perfectly straight and looked you right in the eye, and was quick to give kisses and hugs. He was kind to the cats, never chasing or threatening them. In fact, he was personally responsible for keeping their ears clean, and loved particularly to spend time with our cat Chance every evening. We were proud of him, and we were lucky to know him. His high spirit and love of life and love for everyone around him will never be forgotten. I wish there was a life lesson here, something precious to be gained from his death to make it more okay that he died the way he did, but I haven't found that yet. I do know that knowing Jack was pure fun, and while I'll know a lot of wonderful dogs, it will be rare to find one with Jack's special high-octane combination of joy, love, strength, bravery, and happy energy.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department has some tips for if you live in a rattlesnake area.Wildlife and People
"If you live in an area where rattlesnakes are found or if you have an aversion to snakes in general, some simple habitat modification around your property will usually solve the problem.
Keep firewood in a covered box.
Do not landscape with expanses of large rocks, especially in open, sunny areas. Remove rocks, boards and debris.
Mow tall grass & weeds to make habitat less desirable for rodents, a major food source for snakes. Seal entrances to crawl spaces and basements.
If you encounter a rattlesnake, simply back off. The snake senses your presence by your body heat and movement. "