Santa Fe Scoop

This Monday, Rattlesnakes have been seen and chased by animal control at the dog park around the Cottonwoods and the table. If there was one, there are more, so be aware and careful (stay out of the underbrush). Baby rattlers are just as poison as adults and if the rattle is wet, you will not hear it.

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Wow. Thanks for posting this Susan. Zach loves chasing lizards or anything that moves, really. I'll keep a closer eye on him if he wonders by the underbrush. I know there are rattlesnakes out there, but I thought very few in the city.
Did they catch it?
NO
I am new to the West and was wondering if a dog can survive a snake bite? If they can, what first aid needs to be done? Should I be carrying something with me if I hike? Thanks.
You probably don’t need a snake bite kit either. Because of the vital importance of early treatment, your car keys are the most valuable item available to you in a snake bite emergency according to Dr. Joe Trueba, director of Pima Pet Clinic and Animal Emergency Service in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Trueba’s clinic sees one of the highest numbers of snakebitten pets in the country. Along with Dr. Trueba, most veterinarians today recommend against using tourniquets or “cut and suck” methods of treatment. Take the money you would have used to buy the snake bite kit and use it to get an inexpensive disposable camera to get a photo of the snake instead. Most snakes are not venomous, but if your dog is bitten by a venomous snake you may need to know EXACTLY what kind of snake it was to get the dog proper treatment.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO in the event a snake bites your dog or horse or cat?

First, let me tell you what not to do. Do not take out your pocket knife and cut Xs over the fang marks! Do not attempt to suck venom through those X marks.

PLEASE DO...
* Call you vet and give them the heads up that you are on the way. Anti -venom is snake specific, available in limited quantities seasonally and expensive.
* Try to identify the snake by taking note of its size, color patterns and the presence or absence of a rattle at the end of the tail.

* Look your pet over carefully for fang marks, noting that there may be more than one bite wound.

* If bitten on a leg, wrap a constricting band on the affected limb snugly at a level just above the bite wound (on the body side of the wound). This band could be fashioned of a shirtsleeve or other fabric and should be snug but not excessively tight.

* Start your journey to the nearest animal hospital while trying to keep your pet as quiet as possible.

These natural remedies should be always available in your car or property or suburban home. (Snake Bit kit)

If you are on a property and you have access to injectable use it OR the powder of VITAMIN C (give orally crushed or use the crystal Vit C added to some fluids) then administer this immediately every 15 mins.

If you have or can get the Bach flowers Rescue Remedy or homeopathic Aconite 1M for shock, then give several drops every 5 minutes – orally or drops on top of head or body somewhere.

This will calm animal and reduce shock (which shock alone can be fatal)
I took my dog to Abq also, to a free class. They didn't use shock collars, just yelling "danger" and running with the dog in the other direction when you see the snake. Also they don't use rattlers, they use bull snakes. I don't know if that makes a difference. Many of the dogs seemed to get it, but I think my dog needs another class. I wonder if the shock training is more effective. Is there a Website where I can find out when the California trainers are coming here again?
Regina -- would you also please post the contact information for the class you went to?
Thanks alot.
I am really late replying to this...sorry but I forgot to check the site since my post. The place in Abq where I took my dog is Acoma Training and their site is acomatrainingcenter.com. Look at the dates for the novice classes, and on the last week (the eighth week) you can just show up. The last class is when they do the snake training.
I guess I shouldn't assume that everyone knows about the rattlesnake vaccine. It's effectiveness is somewhat controversial, but I think the vaccine has gotten better in the past few years. I've never had my dogs vaccinated but I'm starting to consider it, especially for my smaller dog, and especially given the fact that I live in a rattlesnake dense location and my dogs are outside ALOT. The local vets have the vaccine, and they are not terribly expensive. If bitten, your dog STILL needs to see the vet, but the consequences may be lessened.
Here is a link: Red Rocks Biologics
And from their website:

What types of snakes does this vaccine protect against?

This rattlesnake vaccine was developed to protect against Western Diamondback Rattlesnake venom. It is most effective against this snake's venom.

Venom from many other snakes found throughout the United States is similar to the venom of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Because of these similarities, this vaccine also provides protection against the venoms of the Western Rattlesnake (including the Prairie, Great Basin, Northern and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes), Sidewinder, Timber Rattlesnake, Massasauga and the Copperhead. This vaccine provides partial protection against the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

This vaccine does not provide protection against the Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth), Mojave Rattlesnake or Coral Snakes. Red Rock Biologics is developing a variety of vaccines to provide the best protection against poisonous snakes for dogs in each part of the country.
Thanks Cindy This is valuable information has a real value. I would question the shock collar however. If you did not see the snake the value is lost, also the seconds between when you see and activate the collar is enough to be of no value. The class would be of interest to many I'm sure. You can train to respond to different pitches in your voice i.e a normal pitch for normal commands and a more alpha, demanding, higher pitch for say getting out of the on coming traffic in the street or out of harms way. Thanks for your input.
FYI: Not all "rattlilng" snakes are rattlers. Bull snakes ACT exactly like rattlers if they are startled. My dogs cornered one in our yard, and it reared up and shook its tail very convincingly. I was sure it was a rattler till it made its escape and I could clearly see the head shape and the no-rattle tail. It sounds like whoever came across the one at the dog park did not hear a rattle. That may have been because it was a bull snake impersonating a rattler.

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