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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I am hoping to get some insight to your experiances with snakes and your dogs. Up here in Chicago we only have small, completely harmless snakes for the most part. But, In April I'm camping 8 hours south were the forest service warns about copperheads and rattlers.

So, please share stories experiances regarding your dogs and snakes. I'm googling and was hoping to find a "potion" to bring with for on-site treatment, but have had no luck. most sites just say..rush the pet to the vet. i'll be 20 miles from civilization so rushing anywhere will be hard! haha


thanks :)
 

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I own more than 30 snakes though they live in cages,lol First off most snakes are nocturnal and burrown during the day so day hikes shouldn't be a huge issue just keep your eyes open. At night I don't recommend blind walking though since that is prime feeding time. You can purchase anti venom but you'd have to be sure about the species or obviously it wouldn't be effective, it's expensive, and a pain to find. Your best bet is be careful and know where the nearest vet is- if your dog is bit they have time!!
 

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hi Zoeys' mom,

you are the perfect person for this thread!!! ok, so during the day i did read up that they hide in bushes, under rocks etc..

how do you feel about me letting Cody off leash? he stays NEAR the trail, but will venture off a bit... would that be too risky? or probably ok since its day time?

if i put bells on his collar, would that help? i know snakes are bears lol but if they heard Cody coming maybe it would help?

you said if he does get bit he "has time". so are you talking about like a couple hours or a day? what if he got bit at dusk and the i cant get to the vet/they dont open until the next morning?

thanks a lot
 

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Discussion Starter #4
oh, do you know any good anit-venom websites? i could get the US forest service to provide me with exact breeds
 

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This is my first hand experience with snake bites and dogs. Here in my area, there can be copperheads, but hey are rare. The prairie rattlers are a little more common. On at least four occassions I have found them right by my house, front door, back door etc. That is just too close for comfort. (usually it's at that point the poor things pass away ;) )

I've had three different dogs get snake bitten. I've never seen the actually occurance, but I've seen the end results. The first time it happened, I was allarmed, and panick stricken. It was my black lab, and he was probably about 40 lbs at the time. (he's not a big dog, at 10 years old he's only 50lbs now) They tend to have HUGE localized swelling around the site of the bite. Now I'm only guessing but I would guess that each time it was a rattle snake bite. (simply because I've seen them, and I haven't seen any copperheads around here first hand)

I called the vet, and their advice to me was, determine the bite location. That can have a significant part of the severity. The nose and the throat can really be a problem. Make sure he's comfortable, and is breathing well. I said that my lab was bitten on the side of the nose, and it was about the size of a football. They asked if he was breathing well, and I told them that he was. They said you can bring him in for us to look at him, but I'm guessing he will be alright.

I was really concerned, so I took him in. I was supprised that they didn't say "bring him in STAT!" I was supprised that they didn't run a battery of tests on him, and administer anti-venom. But that's not standard procedure in this vet clinic, for this area. They said without knowing the species and the amount of venom, it was really a crap shoot, and dogs can matabolize a dose of rattle snake venom that would be leathal to humans. So I just kept him comfortable, and he recoverd just fine in about a week, swelling went back down and now he's a fully recovered and a wiser dog. (he won't go anywhere near a snake, and when I find a snake skin he acts really skiddish around it untill he figures out it's just a skin, then he goes crazy with the KILL IT mode!)

I had a blue heeler get bit a few years later, about the same area. It seems that if a snake bites a dog, it's most likely going to be around the muzzel area somewhere, as dogs are enquisitive and are constantly sticking their noses places. I just loosened up her collar to insure she wouldn't have any pressure from the swelling there, and she was fine in about a week.

The last dog to have this happen was my current female PYR. I took some pictures of her.



She looks like a bull terrior in this photo. That's the swelling in the nose. I don't think she swelled up as much as the other two dogs did. Probably because of her weight and her matobilisim. (pyrs have a slower matobilisim than other breeds do)


This shot doesn't show the swelling quite as much. I would assume that the amount of venom injected could also have something to do with how much swelling occures.



Here she is a couple months later, no swelling.

I do recomend a vet visit if your dog gets snake bit. I would assume that a smaller dog is more in danger than a larger dog. I would assume that a rattle snake may not be as leathal as some other breeds of snakes, so it could well depend on what species of snake that bit the dog, what actions need to be taken. For me, and my three examples, I took one in, and they didnt give it anything, not even an asprin.

Now to prevent snake bites..... you can do like some people and just never let your dogs outside. :p
 

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I am by no means a snake expert...Zoey's Mom can correct me (please do if I'm wrong) but snakes don't lay in wait for someone or something to come walking past. They are shy and try to avoid contact. If your dog zeros in on an object - then you must react immediantly!

When I had working dogs, and they found a snake they would stop and start barking at it...the more they barked, (darting in at the snake) the more aggressive the snake became. The trick was to catch the dog as soon as they showed interest in an object and called them off.
 

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Davey Benson...your poor dogs!!! your stories make me feel much better though. So, 3 of your dogs have been bitten and surived, no loss of limps, no disfigured face etc... good news!

Lillie, thanks for your input. If he starts to fixate on something I'll definitely call him off and/or go remove him from the area.
 

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No snakes don't try to attack animals they can't eat,lol that would be a waste of energy. Snakes also do not hear well they feel vibrations which is how they locate prey through movement and heat. So a bell may not be a good idea,lol just keep the pups out of bushes- a bite is not usually lethal from those species:)
 

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Chicagojosh -you can find boots for your dog as well, if you were really worried about copperheads. You can find them online - and (here in the south) they can be found at Bass Pro Shop and places that sell hunting supplies.
 

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This is my first hand experience with snake bites and dogs. Here in my area, there can be copperheads, but hey are rare. The prairie rattlers are a little more common. On at least four occassions I have found them right by my house, front door, back door etc. That is just too close for comfort. (usually it's at that point the poor things pass away ;) )

I've had three different dogs get snake bitten. I've never seen the actually occurance, but I've seen the end results. The first time it happened, I was allarmed, and panick stricken. It was my black lab, and he was probably about 40 lbs at the time. (he's not a big dog, at 10 years old he's only 50lbs now) They tend to have HUGE localized swelling around the site of the bite. Now I'm only guessing but I would guess that each time it was a rattle snake bite. (simply because I've seen them, and I haven't seen any copperheads around here first hand)

I called the vet, and their advice to me was, determine the bite location. That can have a significant part of the severity. The nose and the throat can really be a problem. Make sure he's comfortable, and is breathing well. I said that my lab was bitten on the side of the nose, and it was about the size of a football. They asked if he was breathing well, and I told them that he was. They said you can bring him in for us to look at him, but I'm guessing he will be alright.

I was really concerned, so I took him in. I was supprised that they didn't say "bring him in STAT!" I was supprised that they didn't run a battery of tests on him, and administer anti-venom. But that's not standard procedure in this vet clinic, for this area. They said without knowing the species and the amount of venom, it was really a crap shoot, and dogs can matabolize a dose of rattle snake venom that would be leathal to humans. So I just kept him comfortable, and he recoverd just fine in about a week, swelling went back down and now he's a fully recovered and a wiser dog. (he won't go anywhere near a snake, and when I find a snake skin he acts really skiddish around it untill he figures out it's just a skin, then he goes crazy with the KILL IT mode!)

I had a blue heeler get bit a few years later, about the same area. It seems that if a snake bites a dog, it's most likely going to be around the muzzel area somewhere, as dogs are enquisitive and are constantly sticking their noses places. I just loosened up her collar to insure she wouldn't have any pressure from the swelling there, and she was fine in about a week.

The last dog to have this happen was my current female PYR. I took some pictures of her.



She looks like a bull terrior in this photo. That's the swelling in the nose. I don't think she swelled up as much as the other two dogs did. Probably because of her weight and her matobilisim. (pyrs have a slower matobilisim than other breeds do)


This shot doesn't show the swelling quite as much. I would assume that the amount of venom injected could also have something to do with how much swelling occures.



Here she is a couple months later, no swelling.

I do recomend a vet visit if your dog gets snake bit. I would assume that a smaller dog is more in danger than a larger dog. I would assume that a rattle snake may not be as leathal as some other breeds of snakes, so it could well depend on what species of snake that bit the dog, what actions need to be taken. For me, and my three examples, I took one in, and they didnt give it anything, not even an asprin.

Now to prevent snake bites..... you can do like some people and just never let your dogs outside. :p
Now you would have gotten your point across without the jab at the end. Since you opened that door I will point out that the fact that your dogs were bitten by snakes and you couldn't even determine WHEN it happened shows one of the big problems of keeping dogs outside unattended. So you can keep defending your business and lifestyle, but ultimately the way you keep some of your dogs is not the safest situation for them. I understand that they are working dogs-but don't try to insult those who care for their dogs differently.
 

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Chicagojosh -you can find boots for your dog as well, if you were really worried about copperheads. You can find them online - and (here in the south) they can be found at Bass Pro Shop and places that sell hunting supplies.
If your 8 hours south brings you through southern Indiana there is a bass pro shop in Clarksville,In, I've never looked for the boots there but you should be able to find out on line. Bass pro also lets dogs into the store.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks all!
Cody would probably remove the boots or die trying. haha
Im heading to Shawnee National Forest Franksmom. ever been?
 

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Kris10, think you might have taken that comment a bit harshly. I'd suggest withholding judgment unless you know the circumstances.

There are places and situations where you may not see your dog being bitten. It's not poor stewardship in most cases, but a simple bad luck.

Grew up here in Louisiana which has the dubious distinction of being home to every poisonous indigenous to the North American continent.

I have a fairly large yard, about an acre, in a nice area of town. It's fenced and landscaped. And yes, I do let my two dogs out to romp when I'm home. I do not always go sit and watch them. It would be easy for them to run into a snake hidden under a shrub or nestled in the pine straw, but they haven't yet, and if they had, I might not know until I noticed symptoms.

I've stepped on snakes barefoot - a feeling you don't forget -and had one fall down and under and through my shirt. A friend was bitten gardening (she didn't really realize what had happened and didn't go to the doctor until 24 hrs later after seeing her hand swell to twice it's normal size!).

My brother has a hunting camp and his Labs are in the marsh and in areas where there are snakes. But those Labs live to hunt and if you've ever had or watched a hunting/working Lab, you would know that they go happy/nuts when they see the hunting gear come out.

Many dogs are working dogs and are out and about in potential snake territory all the time.

I grew up playing outside as did my children and dogs. You can't wrap either in cotton and have them lead a normal life.

I know there are harmless snakes and that they have a job in our ecosystem, but I really, really hate them.

They are, however, a fact of life here and elsewhere.
 

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I've stepped on snakes barefoot - a feeling you don't forget -and had one fall down and under and through my shirt.
Ok, I've changed my mind. That would be the absolute worst thing to ever happen to me in reality or dreamland. :eek:
 

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We run our search dogs in South Caroina in all kinds of swampy mucky areas where the copperheads and water mocassins like it and on sunny hillsides where the rattlers like to hang out.

Several of our dogs have been bitten and it has not been a major ordeal....some benedryl, crate rest, looking out for infection. ..... more concerned about the vaccines than the bites. Really don't want to do an aversives with them either. May feel different if I lived out West as they have some nastier species of rattlesnakes but maily we see copperheads.

Really the main problem is if the dog is allowed to nose around and pester the snakes. They mainly just want to get away.

Dog boots would be WORTHLESS for copperheads. Besides if you dog does get bit it would probably be on the nose. Maybe you can wear some snake gaiters if you are concerned. They go up to your knee and are hotter than all get out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hi jocoyn, glad to hear your dog's snake bits were not a big problem. would you suggest that i pack some benedryl with me to give to my dog on the spot if he gets bit? what dosage?

thanks
 

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Yes Kris 10, that was a tongue in cheek joke, not a jab. :rolleyes:

And it's true, I didn't know exactly when the bites took place, not to the exact moment. I knew within the hour though, on all three occassioins. :smirk:

* I could just almost hear someone yelling in the background....."you can't be having your dogs outside....it's just not safe!"* :D

Comon.... you can't say that's not funny. :hammer:
 

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Benedryl won't help or other anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used for swelling- it has to take it's course:( I forget the name of the drug some vets use but maybe call your vet and express your concern. As mentioned above many vets send you on your way and tell you to watch for seizures and vomiting, some give basic fluids, and others will observe the dog for the night with fluids. Your average healthy dog will metabolize the bite fast and remain swollen for 2-4 days:)
 

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...Several of our dogs have been bitten and it has not been a major ordeal....some benedryl, crate rest, looking out for infection. ...
That's pretty much what I've been told as well. I did forget to mention that they had mentioned something like benedryl if it looked like they were having a bad reaction to the bite. But when I took my first dog in, they didn't think it warrented it. So I never used it on the proceeding bites either.
 

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Dog boots would be WORTHLESS for copperheads. Besides if you dog does get bit it would probably be on the nose. Maybe you can wear some snake gaiters if you are concerned. They go up to your knee and are hotter than all get out.
What is the snake that is different colors...and the saying goes, "yellow touches black friend of jack, red touches yellow, kill a fellow"? My mind has successfully tossed the name out of my head. They have tiny mouths and although they pack a punch, it is difficult to get bit unless they get you between your fingers or between the toes etc. That was the snake I was thinking about that the boots would protect, as I don't think they leap up and grab you in the jugular.
 
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