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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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Old 05-13-2019, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
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
Thanks for sharing. Great article but the distribution areas listed is a little inaccurate. We have coral snakes, rattlers, copperheads and, water moccasins . I live in SE Texas and have places in central and north Texas and all 3 places have all 4 listed venomous snakes. Rattle snakes are a less numerous in SE TX but they are there. All the TX beaches have rattle snakes beyond the dunes too. Being careful and aware everywhere in nature is the ticket and fun times can still be had.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:26 PM   #16
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I attended a snake presentation given by a local vet (open to the public) so that might be an option for you. My best friend's dog was bitten by a snake during a hike with our dogs at a local hike and bike trail. She didn't realize it had happened until the next day when she noticed his right shoulder was swollen. She took him to the vet and the anti venom was administered but it was too late. Her dog was taken to a specialty animal hospital to try to save him and over the next 3 days, his skin peeled off (he was in a medically induced coma). Needless to say, she had to let him go. Just be as proactive with preventative measures as possible.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:46 PM   #17
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Interesting article on AS Addicts..

Very Important for all dog owners

BENADRYL FOR SNAKE BITES

This article was written by a veterinarian of the United Waterfowlers Forum.

"First, let me say that I have been a vet for 23 years in N Florida. We treat probably an average of 15 snake bites a year. That would translate to over 300 snake bite cases I have treated, or been involved in. So my opinions are not based on what happened to one dog, or my neighbor's dog or even the 2 dogs that have been bitten that I personally owned. So not only have I treated a lot, but since I do treat so many, I stay current with current treatment options and what works best (based on data, not stories).

So, here goes with some absolutes about snakes. The things that follow are facts that I have either observed or read or both.

-There is no magic time for how long until treatment. get them there as soon as you safely can. I have saved dogs that were bitten 24 hours prior and had patients die that I saw within 30 minutes. The exception is if there is a bite to the tongue or inside of mouth that may cause breathing issues. I have never seen a bite to the nose cause life threatening breathing issues.

-You do not need to make any effort whatsoever to "get the snake" to take it to the vet. If it is poisonous and causes swelling, we know what to do. The only other poisonous snake in FL is the coral and it does not cause swelling. Unless it is some released species and we will not have antivenin anyway.

-Antivenin (antivenom) is NOT an antidote (meaning it cures). I rarely give it anymore. There are situations where I think it is best to give it, but I have found very little prediction of survival based on antivenin administration. There are some cases that are so bad, you had better use everything you have (bites to the trunk (body) of small dogs or cats).

-Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is NEVER wrong to give and almost always, if not always, will help the patient. The liquid is nearly as fast as an injection. 1mg per pound of body weight (or Children's Liquid, generic is fine - 1 tsp for every 12.5 pounds of body weight if they are bitten).

-Treatment by a veterinarian will ALWAYS result in less disease for the patient. Absolutely, many patients will survive without veterinary treatment. But snake venom is a huge protein and huge proteins are deposited on the basement membrane of the kidneys when filtered. This leads to immune related injury to the kidneys from snake bites that may not be clinically relevant, but could lead to permanent kidney damage that could affect them later in life. Intravenous fluids reduces this risk as well as keeps the patient well hydrated to get rid of the venom and reduce the toxins built up from necrotic (dead) tissue resulting from snake bites. Simply put, if you want to increase the dogs chances of survival and less long term disease, take them to the vet.

-Moccasins are the least toxic, copperheads next (we have tons of them around here) and rattlesnakes are the worst. Moccasins may have more tissue toxicity-damage local tissue and pain-but they are the least toxic of the snakes. But they can still kill a dog.

A lot of factors play a role in the odds for the dog:

*Location of bite-nose, face, head, legs, trunk of body (best to worst)
*time of year-fall snakes have been actively feeding and have less stored venom, spring snakes have more likelihood of having stored venom from less recent feeding
*amount of injection - a miss or an oblique bite that does not get full injection
*species of snake
*size of snake (more venom = more serious)
*prior history of bites improves patients odds (more immune response to the venom)

-anyone, vet or otherwise, can NOT predict which dog will live and which will survive by looking at them, or even by running tests. there are just so many variables. I can often tell someone that the odds are bad or that the odds are good, but sometimes I am wrong. I still get surprised.

IV fluids are the single most important factor that we can control in helping a snake bite victim recover with the minimal amount of disease, with benadryl being second. Some patients are going to die, no matter if they were in a veterinary University Teaching Hospital at the time of the bite and there is NOTHING that could have been done to save them. I have had patients die with 30 minutes of the bite (one was a Jack Russel bit in the side of the chest, the other was an American Bulldog bit between 5-10 times all over the body).

If you ask me, "What can I do to make the odds the best in my dog's favor that it will not die from a snake bite?", I would say:

a) keep benadryl in your dog first aid kit - Children's Liquid, generic is fine. Give them 1 tsp for every 12.5 pounds of body weight if they are bitten.

b get your dog to a vet if they are bitten as soon as reasonably possible - do not be over-dramatic and get in a car accident to get there, but do not stop at the dry cleaners on the way either. Proceed with due haste."

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Old 05-13-2019, 05:29 PM   #18
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That’s an interesting article, and thanks for posting.

I keep capsule Benadryl, and will pick up some of the liquid...just in case.

It is a lot frightening to read about how serious a bite from a rattlesnake can be to a dog.

Makes me feel a bit we’ve been living on borrowed time, as Lily has done a lot of off leash running out west in her years.

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Old 05-14-2019, 09:15 AM   #19
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One other thing to be concerned about are mushrooms. In the spring of 2015 after some rains, my back yard in OR had some mushrooms pop up. I didn't really think much of it - I'd kick over those I came across.


One night before going to bed, I let my shepherd out (he's really bad about scavenging). I typically let them out and they come to the back door when they want to come back in. The shepherd had been out a while so I went to the back door to get him to come in. I called and he started walking toward the house, stumbling along the way, he threw up and eventually fell over. He was acting as if he were drunk, wobbling all around and was kind of "out of it". I had to carry him back to the house and was pretty concerned.


I called the Emergency Vet in Bend and they said to bring him in as he might have eaten some mushrooms. I took him to the vet and after examining him they said he'd probably eaten mushrooms. They put him on IV fluids (not sure what if anything else they did) and kept him overnight. The next morning I went to pick him up and they recommended taking him to my regular vet to keep him on IV fluids during the day. Their concern was the poison could affect his liver and the fluids would help clear the poison out of his system. (Before I went to pick him up, I collected the vomit to bring to the vet and saw the mushroom.)


I took him to my regular vet and picked him up that afternoon and he was fine.


I called the local TV station in Bend and they ended up doing a story on dogs eating poisonous mushrooms that spring. After talking with vets in the area, they found there had been a significant number of other dogs that had to be taken in for treatment.


https://www.ktvz.com/news/bend/bend-...oning/68911105


I've also attached the flyer the local mushroom club put out.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf dog-flyer.pdf (647.3 KB, 6 views)
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:27 AM   #20
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Hmmm, good to know, and thank you.

Lily is also a scavenger, tho always only grasses that I have seen.

She’s never forgotten once being a starving dog, and always seems to feel a need to sample things to see if they will provide sustenance.

I have never seen her eat a mushroom, the smell of which may deter her, but I have seen them in my yard and will watch her.

Maggie
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