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Old 05-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #1
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Snake bite vaccine for our dogs?

This article popped up this morning, and I’m pondering contacting my vet about a vaccine for Lily before heading out on summer travels.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-..._campaign=news

Wondering if others are doing this, and what people’s experience with snakes has been.

Thanks in advance!

Maggie
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:00 AM   #2
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I live in rattlesnake country and have my dog vaccinated. There are two shots to start with then a booster every six months. Just as important is snake avoidance training. Since the vaccine does not cover all types of poisonous snakes.

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Old 05-12-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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The article mentions snake avoidance training...is this something an owner can do, or you can get at Petco, etc?

They also mention the importance of keeping them on a leash when hiking, as they are most likely to encounter snakes off the trail.

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Old 05-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #4
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Found this online...

https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/s...ance-for-a-dog

Maggie
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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Maggie,


Best to let a trained professional do the training. I would ask your Vet if they can recommend someone. Don't know about the pet stores.


Safest is to keep them on a leash. However, if they respond well to the avoidance training, the snake's smell or sound (Rattlesnakes) should alert the dog even in the brush.



Most dogs get bit on the snout when they stick their nose where they shouldn't. That's actually the best place since it is just bone and skin.



My Australian Shepherd has turned into a pretty good rattlesnake hunter. He will stay at a safe distance and bark like crazy to alert me.


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Old 05-12-2019, 10:39 AM   #6
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Thank you, Pat.

She responds pretty well to “leave it”, tho that would mean I would need to see the snake first.

I don’t know if there are any snake avoidance trainers in Illinois , but will ask my vet and look into getting her the vaccine.

They do a lot of coordination with U of I in Champaign veterinary school...

Maggie
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:48 AM   #7
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Thank you, Pat.

She responds pretty well to “leave it”, tho that would mean I would need to see the snake first.

I don’t know if there are any snake avoidance trainers in Illinois , but will ask my vet and look into getting her the vaccine.

They do a lot of coordination with U of I in Champaign veterinary school...

Maggie

Luckily there is now a canine antivenom for rattlesnakes, not sure about the others. For piece of mind when you are traveling, just call a local Vet to see if they stock it.

Pat
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:50 AM   #8
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Thank you.

I hope I never need it.

Maggie
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pdavitt View Post
I live in rattlesnake country and have my dog vaccinated. There are two shots to start with then a booster every six months. Just as important is snake avoidance training. Since the vaccine does not cover all types of poisonous snakes.

Pat


It doesn’t work on Eastern Timber Rattlers.

However I’ve been hiking with dogs for 45 years in snake territory without incident. Many sightings but no issues.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Wink

I had an offer on property in Eastern WA. Went up with a contractor to see about getting a foundation in. Contractor left and @ 10 minutes later I was driving down the glorified logging road. The contractor was standing in the road with a shovel. Got out and asked if all was OK, he said, yeah, he was just driving down the road and saw a huge rattlesnake coiled there. It went into the brush and he decided not to go after it (smart idea). Next day I spoke with the neighbors and they said, 'oh yeah, we forgot to mention we have snakes up here. We got up one morning and there was a baby rattlesnake on the deck."

I went into the local vet's office and asked about the rattlesnake shots and if they had them. They said no, but the vet in the next town did. I asked about the shots and they said they didn't give them because they weren't that effective and if your dog did get bitten, you'd still need to get them to the vet for treatment. The shots would help reduce the effects but they weren't a cure all.
I have 2 inquisitive dogs and decided I didn't want to deal with rattlesnakes so I backed out of the sale. I did purchase land the next county over and we don't have rattlesnakes here - probably the only county in Eastern WA that doesn't. (I used to live in TX and that's where I first heard of the shots. I thought the airport manager was pulling my leg when he mentioned he had to get his dogs vaccinated for rattlesnake bites - I'd never heard of it before. I looked it up later and found out he wasn't kidding.)
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:51 AM   #11
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Florida experience

Lost my precious Sheila to a rattlesnake bite on the beach in St Augustine in 2017. DO NOT LET THEM IN THE DUNES. They will have approximately 2 hrs. to receive anti-venom, if bitten in the torso or neck region of the body. Some emergency vet hospitals carry the anti-venom.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:08 AM   #12
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Snake bite avoidand

Simple solution here, carry a handgun of .357 or larger, loaded with shotshells....very effective!
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:37 AM   #13
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I hadn't ever heard of a vaccine for snake bites. Learn something everyday.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:07 PM   #14
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I live and hunt quail with my Brittanys in New Mexico, which is definitely rattlesnake country. I've always kept the dogs' snake bite vaccinations up to date, but, thankfully, never have needed to test its effectiveness. We've seen a few snakes, but the dogs have never had a close encounter with one in over 20 years of hunting. What my vet has told me about the vaccine is that it is effective for Diamondbacks and Prairie Rattlers, but not for other varieties. I think the snake avoidance training is a great idea, if you are in an area where the snake incidence is high. A friend who hunts around Tucson wouldn't consider hunting without having his dogs trained.
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