Rattlesnake Vaccine??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Rattlesnake Vaccine???

So I took Gia in to her routine vet appointment, and the vet asked me to consider doing the Rattlesnake Vaccine as snakes are definately prevalent in our area and there is a lack/shortage of anti-venom. Does anyone have any experience with this shot? Pros/cons?? From the literature that I was given, what the vac is supposed to do is allow the dog to make it's own anti-venom in case it is ever bit. It covers all but one type of snake found in my area. It will have to be repeated every 6 months. My vet will not be able to get any anti-venom in stock for at least a year. Any input would be appreciated, TIA!

~Alison

Shadow-10 year old GSD (03-16-99)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 10:51 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

I know of people who have given the shot. I think it has to be done in 2 doses to be effective. Red Rock makes the vaccine:
http://www.redrockbiologics.com/FAQ.html#4

I think if you don't have any anti-venom available your choices are to vaccinate or possibly have your dog die. For me it would be a nobrainer.

Angela

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

Yes Angela that is what the vet said as well, if I don't see any potential serious risks from the vaccine, she would get her first dose in June and her second dose in July and then every 6 months thereafter. I am jsut wondering if anyone has had any negative experiences from the shot. I have lived in this area all my life, and I have always had dogs. In 30 years only one recieved a snake bite, and it was not fatal and she recieved no anti-venom. However on the other hand, we see snakes pretty regualrly, so I am thinking why risk it, make sense? I jsut want to make sure no one has had or heard of some serious risks involved with giving the shot.

~Alison

Shadow-10 year old GSD (03-16-99)
Duchess-4 year old GSD (11/04)
Gianna vom Wildhaus-GSD (3-2-09)
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

I give all my dogs the vaccine.
but only 1 time per year
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

Wow I would be afraid to walk Jesse if we had rattlesnakes around us. We do camp once in a while in an area in Ontario sometimes where Massasauga Rattlers live but probably will not again because where we camped (Killbear Provincial Park) a rattler ended up on one persons site near us during the day and we had a bear during the day on our site then on the same day I went to comfort station and came face to face with the same bear - the bear was enough... . I would face 100 bears before 1 rattler (I am scared of snakes). Don't expect to see me in any of the US states that have rattlers.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

Lauralie, I am sooo not a fan of snakes either, but generally speaking most snakes will try to avoid a confrontation, and rattlers have an extra means of warning you to back off. Bites usually happen when warnings are not heeded or when both the snake and the person/animal have a suprise meeting. I am leaning pretty strongly towards giving the vaccine...if for nothing other than peace of mind and a little extra insurance.

GSDACE, my vet recommended twice a year, because studies have shown the antibodies to not be effective after 6 months. The website posted by Angela says the same thing and even recommends the shot every 4 months for certian dogs who are more at risk.

~Alison

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:09 PM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

I've seen a small rattle snake in Killbear, and have never ever seen a bear, and we have been camping there for - gasp - 30 years. I hear that since they had the hunting ban that the bear population has increased.

Where you will see a lot of rattle snakes is at Cyprus Lake, in Tobermory. Tons there, and big ones. Not a good idea to hike in shorts or to allow your dog to run loose. You have to be very careful when walking anywhere, especially around the rock areas.

I believe that if bitten by the Massassauga Rattler that a big dog may require a vet visit, but will not die.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:04 PM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

I wouldn't do it. UC Davis does not recommend the vaccine, and last I googled, there have been adverse reactions. With a vaccine that is not very effective and has to be given so frequently, the odds for those adverse reactions will increase with each vaccination. I put this vaccine in the same category as the lyme vaccine.

Btw, I live in rattlesnake territory. I have killed one by my air conditioner, one in my garage, and a huge one at the neighbor's house. They are one reason why the dogs, while still allowed outside, stay inside while I am not home. It is a risk that I have to take -- I worry about the vaccine more.

And it is true of the snakes here -- they do warn, and they don't seem to want to strike. Indy is pretty wise to the ways of the rattler. Max, on the other hand, is a bit of a doofus, and doesn't know to at least be careful. We have had two large dogs get bitten on this court. One seemed fine afterwards, and the other ultimately developed kidney failure, thought to be from the bite.

http://www.hvjournal.com/home-mainme...or%20Dogs.html


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:15 PM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/...urvivors9.html

http://www.i-love-dogs.com/forums/dog-he...ed-vaccine.html

http://www.doggienews.com/2005/02/ra...ccinations.htm

http://www.envenomated.com/forum/vie...p?thread_id=34

We have had a number of calls about the new rattlesnake vaccine. Because of the potential for adverse reactions to this vaccine and lack of experience with it, we do not recommend using it unless your dog is very high risk.
Washington State Univ: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vth/vaccinations.aspx

...the vaccine has shown no significant difference in the course of treatment if your dog is bitten.

http://overfieldkennel.blogspot.com/...ccination.html





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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:18 PM
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Re: Rattlesnake Vaccine???

I live in a high risk area so i give the vaccine.
had a dog get bite and last about 3 minutes.
if u op not too give the vaccine be extra vigilant.
i kill about 15 - 20 a year
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