Rattlesnakes V.S. Dogs

We recently had our second rattlesnake in the kennel and thought I might write a little on snakes in your kennel.  Over the years I have had around 12 dogs bitten.  One way to avoid snake bites is to add to your chain link kennel,  a finer screening around the outside  bottom of the kennel itself.

If  your dogs are on runners where rattlesnakes often visit and only have a few dogs, you may choose to have a vet give them an anti venom shot prior to a snakebite.  You may also want to get your dog a shot after the bite.  Larger dogs like huskies can survive a snakebite even without the shots.  The best thing that you can first do, is to put an ice pack on the area bitten.  When a dog gets bitten there can be a large amount of swelling and an icepack can reduce or keep the swelling down to as much as 50%!  I don’t like to put on a wound closer, but instead a salve that will allow the bite hole to drain for a few days.  If you have  antibiotics that work well for infections, I would give them to your dog as pescribed or go to your vets to get something to fight the wound infection itself.

If a dog is bitten more than once then you may have more serious problems and may want to take the dog into a vet because the nevous system can be affected by numerous bites.  I lost a dog once who was bitten 4-5 times and I was fighting fires and the handler couldn’t get him antibiotics because he was in fever and was aggressive towards anything that moved.  The venum eventually wore off, but  he couldn’t lift a hind leg and latter had to be put down because he kept having open wounds where his foot drug on the ground.   It was the right thing to do because he was never happy again when he realized he couldn’t still be a sled dog.

There is a procedure where a vet will puncure numerous holes in the swollen area with a large needle after shaving the hair from the area.  In no time the swolling will go right down to normal and the holes will drain for a few hours more and within a few days, other than a bunch of scabs where all the holes were made, you wouldn’t even know there was a rattlesnake bite.

Good luck and as always,  if in doubt, the best thing is to take your dog to the vet.

Now here is the rest of the story,.  I came home from work in the heat of the day an his sister(named Sweets) who saw his brother get his numerous snake bites, was staring at the ground in front of her.  She had killed a rattler over a 4 foot long, with one hard dog bite behind the snakes head!  She had revenged her brother’s death!!!!!!!!!!

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