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Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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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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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-mainmenu-1/archive/1963-New%20Rattlesnake%20Vaccine%20for%20Dogs.html
 

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http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/vaccinesurvivors9.html

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

http://www.doggienews.com/2005/02/rattlesnake-venom-vaccinations.htm

http://www.envenomated.com/forum/viewthread.php?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/2007/08/rattlesnake-vaccination.html
 

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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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Originally Posted By: MaryWI'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.
Wow believe it or not we were in Tobermory last summer and did a Geocash in Cyprus Lake and had to walk through all those rocks and Jesse was with us but you can bet I was holding my breath... I only made it in 10 feet then sent hubby by himself because I didn't want to be anywhere near the snakes in the area.

We were in Killbear the period when most of Ontario lost power. When rattler and bear incidents happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very interesting reading Lisa thank you. So here is my question...seeing as how I live in a highly snake populated area, am planning on doing alot of outdoor activity (including SchH but not limited to), and the nearest vet is about a half hour away (nearest Emergency Vet Hospital is a little over an hour, but I do have my vet's personal cell and home number)...my vet stated he can't get the anti-venom for at least a year....does this put us as high risk and/or do we need to consider the "buying time" properties that the vaccine allows? Is it worth the risks involved?
 

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I dunno, that will have to be a personal decision.

I too am about a half an hour away from any vet. My previous vet said that he doesn't stock the antivenin and doesn't use it as, in his opinion, more dogs react to that with an allergic response than not. Luckily, I have not had to find out.

I'm in your situation, and I have chosen not to use it, and that's a gamble that I will have to live with if something happens to either of the dogs. Max (GSD) is more likely to be bit than Indy, but being a bigger dog, Max is probably also more likely to survive a bite, though I'm not sure I could carry him out if we are down by the river walking.
 

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Some thoughts I have

~I thought that some weren't recommending it due to it being so new- not sure I want my dog to be guinea pig of the new vaccine

~My Dad gives the vaccination to his bird hunting dog as they are at higher risk. He gets it every 6 months and usually gets a golf ball sized lump at the injection site.

~My Dad's vet had a dog that had been getting the vaccination and got bit in the face. The dog recovered fine which is unusual for being bit in the face. Vet believes it is due to vaccination.

~Interesting what snakes it does in fact cover. Was developed with western rattlesnake venom, http://www.redrockbiologics.com/FAQ.html#2 For my area specifically we have a lot of the eastern rattlesnakes, their site says, "This vaccine provides partial protection against the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake." But a lot people in my area with hunting dogs still give it thinking any chance is better than a dead dog.

~We have done a snake training class where the dog has an ecollar on and there is a live banded snake in the grass, when the dog shows interest it gets zapped and they quickly learn that snakes=bad things.
 

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Yes I think it was effective and that if they were to see a snake that they would stay far away from it.

I always worried that if we were trailing and they saw one that they would go to it being curious as they are. I don't have that worry now, but do still worry about if they run over it never having seen/smelled it- which is the issue with all the bird dogs, they would run on it and wouldn't ever know until it was too late.
 

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Makes sense to me.

I've thought about the class -- I'm pretty sure it would work on Indy, but I couldn't put an e-collar on her with her nervous system issues. With Max, he is too collar-smart. I think he would stay away as long as he knew the collar was on, and that's it.
 
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