Avoiding Snakes - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Avoiding Snakes

So moving to Florida last fall from a place where we had no worries of snakes, I'm beginning to get pretty worried now that it is that time they come out of hiding. The two main species we have in our area are cottonmouths and pigmy rattlers. What is the easiest, quickest, but effective way to train your dog to avoid them?

I was thinking about having someone with a fishing pole with a plastic snake tied to the end, cast it and slowly real it up, while I, once my dog sees the snake, call her and then treat her. Any other suggestions? Is there a way I could train her without using the help of someone else since it is difficult to motivate someone to help me train. I also have a one year son and I was hoping maybe she could somehow alert me if she sees a snake, since we all go and play in our fenced in backyard everyday.

Also, does anyone know what effect these snakes would have if my pup ever did get bit. I do have the emergency vet number that carries anti-venom, but I was just wondering, I guess, how lethal their bite is. Will it kill her or have permanent effects on her even if I do get the anti-venom in time? Thanks for all your help in advance!

GSD - Misty (12/25/10)
Sphynx cat - Fenix (~July 08')
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 04:57 PM
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IMO the best way is to take a rattlesnake avoidance class. Typically it's one session + 1 free follow-up session. Much more effective then anything you could teach yourself (a real snake does not smell like plastic ) and way better at prevention then the ridiculous rattlesnake vaccine. The rattlesnake vaccine was also only formulated against the Western Diamondback and no other species that I am aware of. Every possible rattlesnake bite should be seen immediately. Typically you will see (very bad) swelling where they were bitten. Bloodwork is typically run to see if venom was injected and anti-venom (which is very expensive) will be used. I haven't heard of a dog dying from a rattlesnake bite yet at my clinic, but we've seen several bites in the last year. Remember that baby rattlers are more dangerous then adults.

Chrissy

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Last edited by Verivus; 03-25-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 04:59 PM
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Do you know if those classes work for other snakes, or just rattlers?


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
Do you know if those classes work for other snakes, or just rattlers?
Hm. Good question. I would think it would, because minus the rattler I'm assuming they generally look and act similarly and possibly smell similarly. A good question to ask the trainer.

Chrissy

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 08:42 PM
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the rattlesnake class I have taken they use sight sound and smell the also use the types of snakes that are in my area which are the western diamond back,mojave green and southern pacific
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 08:52 PM
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Some of it depends on where, in Florida, you live too. I grew up on Merritt Island (well Jr High and High School) which is also a wildlife refure area and never saw a snake in the developed areas. Now outside of them...gators and what not. And certainly on the trails etc.

Copperheads are more of a nuisance than the others and pretty much it is antibiotics, anthiistamines and observation. The worst ones are the babies as they don't meter their venom. They are pretty much odifierous. Most dogs get bit nosing around them and messing with them. We get a lot of those......

Cottonmouths will coil up and warn you. And they have a nasty bite--the older ones are more savvy but the younger ones can be very agressive.

I don't know about the rattlers.....but they tend to be pretty dangerous, too.

Fenced yard.....I would be doing things to minimize hiding places for snakes. No fish ponds (they like to eat the frogs and what nots)......and do a quick sweep before you go out with the dog...

Also be nice to the scarlet king snakes and black snakes because they EAT the poisonous ones.

Nancy



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