Rattlesnake Bites Dog in RM - Warning!
Our little 12 pound rat terrier Sandy was bitten by a rattlesmake today on our back patio around 2 in the afternoon while we were firing up our Bar-B-Que. The small rattler was hiding under an umbrella stand base, and my dog was sniffing the base when we heard a yelp and confirmed that a small rattlesnake bit her on her nose.
After a frantic rush to Bradshaw Vet and 2 subsequent antivenom treatments today, it looks like she will survive....we'll know more tomorrow. Not cheap folks (the vet bill is $2400 and counting thus far). Thank goodness we have been giving her rattlesnake vaccines for the last 3-4 years and were there to take her to the vet immediately after the incident....if not the prognosis may not have been so favorable.
Be alert and if possible train your dogs to recognize and avoid these creatures and the places they may be hiding . Scary stuff--this is a really bad year for rattlesnakes and I have had to "relocate" 3 in the last 2 months around my house, including the one today. I was amazed the snake fit under the metal base, which was sitting on concrete.
Anyone know of trainers that can teach dogs to avoid snakes? I have heard it can be done, but do not know of anyone in the area that does this. If you do, maybe an invite to the community for some group training would save some canine lives.
Gregg. I am so sorry to hear about your little dog. I will hope for a speedy recovery. My brother and sister in law live in Cherry Valley and just had their young dog in rattlesnake avoidance training. I think it is a great idea to see if we can get a group together to train these dogs to avoid the snakes. Maybe Grantline has a source for training? I will contact the sister in law to see how they found their trainer. Count us in with two small dogs to join you if it comes together.
I have a friend that had this done for there dogs. I can get the name of the Trainer if you'd like me to?
Glad your dog is OK!!!!
I just took my lab to a Rattlesnake Avoidance Training in Shingle Springs. This was the second time I have taken her...this one was for insurance. The first time was 3 years ago. That time she won the Academy Award for yelling the loudest and being the biggest drama queen. This time, we took her to see how much she remembered and she sat down and would not go to the first snake. When she was taken toward the second snake she laid down, and when they tried to get her to go to the third snake she laid down on her back and they couldn't drag her there. Needless to say, she passed with flying colors.
This training was held through the Hangtown Kennel Club. They contracted with Tracy and Fred Presson with Highon Kennel Club from San Diego. It costs $70 per dog. I saw all shapes and sizes of dogs go through the course. Over the past 6 years, the Hangtown Kennel club have put through over 600 dogs. It takes about 20 minutes per dog to go through the course. They have volunteer handlers take the dogs through the course. Shock collars are placed on the dogs. First they see the snake, if they go towards them to check them out, they are shocked by Tracy. They do the same for smell and sound. They graduate by being put on one side of an alley way with the handler. The snake is placed in the middle of the walk. Owners are asked to stand at the other side of the alley and call their pet. If the dog goes completely around the alley, they are trained. If they go through the alley, they repeat the course.
All rattlesnakes are live. They have bags and/or mussels over their face ( I don't look because I'm scared to death). At any rate, they are safe to dogs during the training.
We have killed 3 rattlesnakes behind my house this year and that is why I wanted to take her for a refresher course. I would be happy to organize this for the community. I have already placed a call into these folks to see if we can get them here. I know they are extremely busy. If you would like to put a post back or call me at 752-6966, I would take names to see how many folks are interested.
I have made arrangements to have the folks from San Diego come to Rancho Murieta on July 28th. We will begin at 8 am. The cost is $70 and must be paid prior to the class. We will be using the dog park. Checks will be made to Rhonda Papas. After payment is received, you will receive an email with the time and confirmation of your appointment.
We will need a few volunteers to help. We need people to register, put the collars on the dogs, and handlers to take the dogs through the course. Please let me know if you can help. I am opening this up to people outside the gates as well. We need at least 50 dogs to make this work. If we have enough dogs, we can have the clinic on Sunday as well.
Please call me at 916-752-6966 to reserve your spot. I will give you my address at that time.
I will be calling to get your address but will have 3 labs to join in on the 28th.
Thanks very much for organizing this
Thanks for the post and taking initiative to keep our pets safe. Count me (and Bentley) in. I'd be more then happy to volunteer as well.
Here is a link to a video about Rattlesnake Avoidance Training:
Count me in too.
Here's a video that shows a dog being rattlesnake trained, just so people know what to expect: www.youtube.com/watch (there are 3 videos spliced together)
I was fortunate that I was able to train my old girl to avoid snakes (she even stepped around long sticks that might look like a snake!), and hope to do the same with my new girl. We were practicing on a garter the other day.
I know that UCD, last I checked, didn't recommend the rattlesnake vaccine. I would have thought that a dog with the vaccine would not have required two bottles of anti-venin? Maybe with a small rattler, all the venin was released? So glad that yours survived this scary bite!
"Canine Rattlesnake Vaccine
The canine rattlesnake vaccine comprises venom components from Crotalus atrox (western diamondback). Although a rattlesnake vaccine may be potentially useful for dogs that frequently encounter rattlesnakes, currently we are unable to recommend this vaccine because of insufficient information regarding the efficacy of the vaccine in dogs. Dogs develop neutralizing antibody titers to C. atrox venom, and may also develop antibody titers to components of other rattlesnake venoms, but research in this area is ongoing. Owners of vaccinated dogs must still seek veterinary care immediately in the event of a bite, because 1) the type of snake is often unknown; 2) antibody titers may be overwhelmed in the face of severe envenomation, and 3) an individual dog may lack sufficient protection depending on its response to the vaccine and the time elapsed since vaccination. According to the manufacturer, to date, rare vaccinated dogs have died following a bite when there were substantial delays (12-24 hours) in seeking treatment. Recommendations for booster vaccination are still under development, but it appears that adequate titers do not persist beyond one year after vaccination. Adverse reactions appear to be low and consistent with those resulting from vaccination with other products available on the market. The product license is currently conditional as efficacy and potency have not been fully demonstrated. Based on existing evidence, the UC Davis VMTH does not currently recommend routine vaccination of dogs for rattlesnake envenomation, and the vaccine is not stocked by our pharmacy"
Thought I'd throw this out there for anyone not sure about the rattlesnake aversion training. This is Cali who lives in Florida. I've been following her on her Facebook page Please Help Our Cali. She was bitten by a Diamondback and her family knew in short order that she had been bitten. She was hospitalized for at least two weeks, received something like 21 or 23 vials of antivenin (some sort of record) and had several surgeries. The tube sticking out of her neck is a vacuum removing venom and bacteria. Her recovery is an amazing story. The cost was more than $16,000. Luckily for her family, donations paid for all of it because they didn't have the resources.
Just food for thought. It could easily happen here.