Rattlesnakes!

Rattlesnakes are here!

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With all of the recent rains, these dangerous reptiles are on the move. Rattlesnakes live in so many areas and can be life-threatening to dogs. The following are 6 tips that could save your dog’s life:

1. Get your dog vaccinated. The rattlesnake vaccine is made from snake venom and works in a way so that if your dog is bitten, the reaction to the bite is reduced and delayed. This gives you more time to get to your veterinarian for treatment. This vaccine does not eliminate complications that come from a rattlesnake bite. You will still need to take your dog to the hospital. Here, at Eagle Veterinary Hospital, we offer the rattlesnake vaccine! Call us at (210) 822-5211 to make your appointment.

2. Walk your dog on a 6 foot leash. This gives you the ability to quickly restrain your dog in the event of a rattlesnake sighting. Rattlesnake bites usually occur when a dog is off leash or on a flexi-lead. If you encounter a rattlesnake, slowly back away until you are no longer in striking distance. Then carefully leave the area.

3.  Avoid rocky or dense brush or grassy areas.

4. Snake proof your yard. If your fence does not have a solid cement base, use hardware cloth all along the base of the fence line, including the gates.

5. Know a dog’s rattlesnake bite symptoms. Some owners never witness the rattlesnake bite take place. Do not delay in rushing your dog to the hospital if you notice these symptoms:

A. Puncture wounds ( may be bleeding )

B. Severe pain

C. Massive swelling

D. Restlessness, panting or drooling

Depending on how much venom was injected and the size of your dog, symptoms may become severe rapidly and may include:

A. Lethargy, weakness, collapse

B. Muscle tremors

C. Vomiting and diarrhea

D. Seizures or other neurological signs including respiratory distress

6. If your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake. If at all possible, carry your dog to the car. Limiting the dog’s movement will help prevent the venom from quickly moving to other parts of the body. Get to the vet immediately! The faster your dog receives the anti-venom, the better the outcome!

Also, consider this. The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of San Antonio is offering snake awareness classes for your dog. If you are interested, visit them at Stephen.kale@sbcglobal.net or call (301) 641-7720

 

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