My Dog = Snakebit.....WATCH YOUR DOG
As the weather warms where you are...stay vigilant - it was 55 degrees and February the day he got bit.
Slideshow tells the story...he was bitten 1 year ago this week by a western diamondback rattlesnake.
Had him at the vet w/in 45 mins of bite
Full meal deal - antivenin, antibiotics, benadryl, etc. $2,800
Night 1 went downhill, could not lay himself down due to bite location and chest swelling
Night 2 & 3, thought he was a goner for sure
Blood seeped ~8 drops a minute for 3 or 4 days
8 full days he was unable to walk, lie down or get up on own
Slept in the living room with him and used a squeeze bottle for water for the first week
Pretty heart rending, but with a good outcome.
Squeamish beware, the wound doesn't look nice.
Back to his old tricks:
I've had three dogs get bitten by copperheads - it's inevitable where we are - each time our vet (old country doc) has said they'll be fine with no medical attention. Sure enough they all got better in a week. I've heard Rattler bites are worse though. Glad yours recovered.
Glad he's ok. Looks better than our cat. The chest cavity split open so you could see inside. It was gnarly. Cat recovered fine, too.
My female took a bite to the face when she was about 14-16mos old. Copperhead, I think, but never found the snake. Some general facial swelling, but she recovered fairly quickly.
She and her brother are much more cautious about snakes now. Once bitten, twice shy.
My old cur dog got big on the head by a water moccasin. His head swelled up, looked pretty bad for about a week, he finally pulled through.
The three German Shorthaired Pointer Clubs in Texas all have a snake avoidance clinic each summer. My club in San Antonio has been hosting this event for about 25 years now. We use live rattle snakes that have been milked of venom and then cut their fangs off.
(They have another set that will drop in a few days). Anyway, using an e-collar the dog is trained to avoid snakes by using sight, smell and hearing. It's low cost and WORKS when done correctly. I can't speak for the Dallas and Houston Clubs but I think they offer the same type of training. All three Clubs have websites and the training is open to all breeds. Suggest you make a phone call or two and get on their list. It's well worth the $40-$50 cost.
Also, ask your vet about the ratllesnake vacination that's been out for a couple years now by Red Rock Biologics. It will typically lessen the severity of the bite and buy you time to get to a vet if you're in the middle of nowhere.
Legitimate question, how can one desnaking train a dog to be snakeproof but other skills/commands (steady to wing/shot, etc.) require many multiple sessions? I always paid for the clinic every year but was never convinced. I'm not knocking it, just curious. I only had one dog bitten in my birddog days so maybe it worked after all.
It definitely varies from dog to dog. I've seen several instances where the same dog showed up each year for the same training and didn't remember anything from previous exposure or training. On the other hand there are those dogs that most certainly remember the discomfort of the e-collar/snake experience and have connected the dots. Hunt training and snake avoidance training are two different things and need to be treated as such. In the former you are training the dog in something that hopefully it likes and wants to do. Enthusiasm is a good thing but will require repetitive training exercises. In the latter it's really just helping the dog make the association that the snake is bad thus the importance of the trainers using the e-collar at the exact moment the dog associates the scent and/or sound with the sight of the snake. Personally, I recommend initial training and a follow up every 1-3 years depending on the dog.
Ironically, I had one dog that got tagged by a copperhead on two seperate occasions but would let you know when a rattler was scented. She would not go near a rattler.
Thanks for the info re:snake breaking.
He had not been trained prior to this bite, but was last summer after he recovered, and again this past may.
On his first approach during this latest training in May, he walked up to the bait snake and kissed it on the nose.
Trainings were done by two of the best and most respected GSP training kennels in my state.
I believe in snake avoidance training, but it hasn't yet produced the avoid at all costs response in my dog that I would have liked. We'll keep at it.