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Old 01-20-2018, 01:56 PM   #1
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Dogs and snakes

Just curious as to those of you who boondock with dogs. Other than watching where you step, have any of you taken extra precautions in protecting your dogs from snakebites, especially if they are allowed to run free?

I am talking about snake-proofing them with dog trainers, or giving them the rattlesnake vaccine, or anything else that I may not be aware of. My Vet recommended the vaccine along with keeping Benadryl on hand to give them if bitten in order to calm them down until they can see a Vet.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:25 PM   #2
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I live in the boondocks, ranch outside of Fort Davis, TX. I would do all the things you mentioned. Be aware that the Rattlesnake vaccine does not work with Mohave Rattlesnakes. Also be aware that there now is a canine Rattlesnake Anti-Venom. It works with all Rattlesnakes and is orders of magnitude cheaper that the Human Anti-Venom they used to use.

I have an Australian Shepherd that has killed three of them without getting bit. How he did it, I have no idea.

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Old 01-20-2018, 02:28 PM   #3
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Just curious as to those of you who boondock with dogs. Other than watching where you step, have any of you taken extra precautions in protecting your dogs from snakebites, especially if they are allowed to run free?

I am talking about snake-proofing them with dog trainers, or giving them the rattlesnake vaccine, or anything else that I may not be aware of. My Vet recommended the vaccine along with keeping Benadryl on hand to give them if bitten in order to calm them down until they can see a Vet.
The rattlesnake vaccine is effective to a point on-rattlesnakes. Does no good on copperheads or anything else.

That being said almost all of my great Pyrenees were on the vaccine because of them being in the pastures.

The vaccine will give you time to get to the vet. It is not 100% effective-I have known some dogs who still died even though they had the vaccine-lots of mitigating factors there.

Two of my dogs have had reactions to the vaccine(lump at injection site). After 2 consecutive years of this my vet and I decided to forego the vaccines.

Benedryl is good to have on hand-check with your vet about dosage.
Best thing is get to a vet a soon as possible.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:31 PM   #4
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attlesnakes. Also be aware that there now is a canine Rattlesnake Anti-Venom. It works with all Rattlesnakes and is orders of magnitude cheaper that the Human Anti-Venom they used to use.

I have an Australian Shepherd that has killed three of them without getting bit. How he did it, I have no idea.

Pat
Canine anti-venom is still a bit pricey.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:35 PM   #5
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Out here the Vets charge $300 a dose. Takes two for a large dog. The human anti-venom is about $3,000 a dose.

There is also an equine anti-venom available. One of my horses got bit and it costs $600 for the anti-venom.

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Old 01-20-2018, 05:11 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the responses....strongly considering the vaccine.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:20 PM   #7
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Thanks guys for the responses....strongly considering the vaccine.
The vaccine won't hurt especially if it gives you piece of mind.

Mine would still be on it if they did not have the reactions.

The reaction was not bad as I said, just a lump at the injection site that went down after a few days. We would warm a rice bag in the microwave and apply to the spot for about 10 mins once a day. After about 4-5days the lump was gone.

But 2 reactions????-I'm done no more.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:22 PM   #8
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On a footnote-the dog in my avatar survived a double strike from a 6 foot rattlesnake. You can see where her fur is missing along her lip line and how her plews(lip) is now slack.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:24 PM   #9
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The rattlesnake vaccine doesn't work on timber rattlers here in the East. That being said, my dogs have run loose with me for 45 years and we have rattlers. We've never had a problem with the dogs and snakes.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:33 PM   #10
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The rattlesnake vaccine doesn't work on timber rattlers here in the East. That being said, my dogs have run loose with me for 45 years and we have rattlers. We've never had a problem with the dogs and snakes.
When you say it does not work on Timber rattlers what do you mean?

I am curious and always looking for new info.

I have use the one from Red Rock biologic and it says that it is effective on Timber rattlers, however, it also says it is effective on copperheads and I have found that to be effective to a small degree.

Just wondering if the same was true. They don't specify as to species of Timber rattler.
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:18 PM   #11
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When you say it does not work on Timber rattlers what do you mean?

.
Maybe there's something new, but when we looked into it a few years ago we were told the vaccine was not effective for Eastern Timber Rattlers.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:09 PM   #12
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Maybe there's something new, but when we looked into it a few years ago we were told the vaccine was not effective for Eastern Timber Rattlers.
Don't think that I am doubting you, because even my vet told me that the Red Rock vaccine which he dispenses is not totally as effective on copperheads as it is on rattlesnakes. Could be a similar issue for you, that is why I was asking.

As I said, trying to gain info as we have the Western Diamondback, copperheads and coral snakes in our area.
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Old 01-20-2018, 09:58 PM   #13
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Dogs and snakes

I go archery shooting almost every morning with Lupe, my dog in the avatar. She has been tromping through rattlesnake territory with me for 5 years now without a bite or a strike. She is never on a leash in the area where I shoot the bow. Every year, guys shoot rattlesnakes on this range, some quite large, up to 5 or so. Once when she was quite young we came across a rattlesnake in a bush and she backed off in a hurry, before I noticed it. In rattlesnake aversion training, that's what they teach the dogs to do. She hasn't had that training, but seems to have the same aversion to rattlesnakes they teach in the class. She is close to the ground, has a good nose, and I am sure will always notice rattlesnakes before I do.

If you notice a rattlesnake in time, it will slither away and not attack. I have noticed rattlesnakes in time many times, and have never shot them, because I won't shoot anything I don't intend to eat, but of course everyone doesn't have the same ethic. I get Lupe vaccinated against rattlesnake bite every year, because my vet recommended it. Maybe won't help, but can't hurt.
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Old 01-20-2018, 10:28 PM   #14
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I have two Great Danes who are off leash when and wherever possible, i.e., back country/boondocking. Both have been trained to identify snakes, back off, and make me aware of their presence. Despite their training, both have been bitten by Copperheads and survived without getting the anti-venom, merely Tramadol. Full recovery was about 4 days before the swelling diminished and they were back to their normal activity level.

Each bite was an ambush scenario while they were running. Survival may have been a factor of their size and ankle high/lower leg hits. The smallest is 150 lbs and the other 165 lbs. The vets involved in both cases did not recommend the anti-venom.

Both have permanent 'bald' spots at the strike location.
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