Snake Proofing Your Dog
It’s sad to lose your four legged friend for any reason, more so from a painful rattlesnake bite. Even if your dog successfully completed snake avoidance training, as discussed in my previous blog post, they still can be bitten by a rattler in the field or on a hike in the great outdoors. With snake avoidance training and annual rattlesnake vaccinations, the chance of death by a rattler bite is greatly reduced for your dogs.
Daisy and Lulubelle, my yellow labs, received two shots each of the rattlesnake vaccinations the first year and then once annually. The shots don’t prevent a snake bite, but immunizes the dog to the snake’s venom. My longtime vet Dr. Pat Richardson, DVM at Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital, San Antonio, Texas says “should a bite occur, the rattlesnake antivenin will reduce the severity; allow more time to get to a vet with fresh vials of the expensive antivenin, which has a short shelf life, cost about $500.00 a vial. A large hunting dog that has not been vaccinated could require three to five vials. A dog on antivenin may not need any and can be treated with steroids and antibiotics.” My dog’s vaccine was $35.00 per shot at Broadway Oaks, inexpensive protection for my best friends and outdoor companions. Dr. Tom Vice, DVM; founder of Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital and avid outdoorsman, was one of the first vets to utilize the snake vaccination for dogs.