Last summer was extremely hot and (for us) humid, so we had Gus “puppy cut” and tried to walk him either very early in the morning or late in the evening. Usually we have Gus off-leash on his Diamond Creek walk, but on the evening in question I had him on leash – probably because he’d just been groomed and I didn’t want him chasing rabbits and getting full of burrs. (!) Anyway, my husband and I were talking, heard a rattle, looked down, and there was Gus, blithely stepping over a coiled rattlesnake! Luckily, he didn’t stop to sniff the critter. I must have jumped a mile, pulling Gus with me, so no one got hurt, and for the rest of the summer we kept Gus on-leash, were careful where we walked, and carried a vial of Oil of Oregano (a home first-aid measure for snakebite until we could get to the vet).
Gus’s vet doesn’t think too much of the available rattlesnake vaccine, and neither do some major veterinary schools (i.e., UC Davis). On the other hand, the vet at Gus’s groomer’s is a big fan of the vaccine, and so are other schools on the Web.
Gus is the only OES within a hundred-mile radius, so none of the vets in town have much experience with the breed. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with the rattlesnake vaccine. Do you have your OES vaccinated? Did it sicken your pup? Has anyone’s OES been bitten by a rattlesnake?
Gus is due for his bordetella and dental vaccines in February, so I’d like to know your advice on the rattlesnake vaccine. If the consensus is do it, I’ll have Gus vaccinated at that time.
Thanks in advance for your help!
|I'm not familiar with the vaccine, I hope that perhaps other members who are in the southwest US or their vets may have some info about it.
That said, I wanted to jump in and welcome you to the community!
Hi there to you and to Gus.
|I don't know anything about the vaccine, but one thing we learned in puppy school was "snake training." I basically consisted of innocently walking the puppies past a wall and then having the trainer throw a real snake out at them and having everyone around run and scream and basically scare the crap out of the dog. The idea was to reinforce to the dog that snakes were scary and to run away when you see one. The trainer said many dogs in the past have warned their owners about rattlesnakes by reacting to them after having this training.|
|Wow, that sounds like a pretty frightening tactic. Sounds like it would work, it would scare the bejeeves out of me.|
|Each time you vaccinate your dog you risk setting up Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA). It's for this reason my vet and I disagree about vaxing older dogs. I prefer Jean Dodd DVM protocol......anyway,
there hasn't been good scientific research on the snake vaccination. And if your dog is bitten, he will still need the antivenom regime ASAP. Since neither Davis or CSU is supporting this, I would avoid it. I understand your concern and would keep ice packs and your vet and emergency vet's number handy at all times. You can also go to trainers who specialize in training dogs to avoid snakes. It's a biggie here.
Also this apparently is Red Rocks labs first entry into immunization and their record keeping is sloppy at best. The fact dogs have died after the vax or came down with AIHA and they deny it is worrisome.
|It's weird b/c on another forum there are a lot of irresponsible owners who always let their cats outside knowing there are rattlesnakes everywhere (this is san angelo, tx).
Their cats have been bit, and they believe "once they learn what that rattle means, they never go near them again, so we keep them outside."
Drives me bonkers, but they always "say" their vet says there is nothing you can do. They either make it or they don't. These people posted pics of how bad the bites can get..............and as they said, they did nothing but bring the cat indoors during the healing and each of them survived. The gash into their skin and their size makes it UNBELIEVABLE and I guess they don't all make it ...just depends on how much gets in them?
Anyway, that's all I know about rattlesnake bites. Sorry.
|San Angelo??!! Hubby from there!
Anyway, when snakes strike, they don't always include venom......a dry bite...and I think it may be up around 50% of the bites are dry. So old wive's tales that worked probably were on dry bites. (Hence reliable data regarding the rattlesnake vax!!) Still you have puncture wounds from nasty dirty mouth so infection sets in.
Anyway with venom entering your body, it ain't pretty. Depending on species you may have:
Neurotoxins working on your nervous system, causing muscle paralysis.
Hemotoxins begin to break down your blood and tissue.
Nephrotoxins attacking your kidneys.
Cardiotoxins may affect your heart muscles.
Muscle fibers from necrosing flesh may enter your bloodstream and affect your kidneys in a condition called Rhabdomyolysis.
CK (Creatine Kinase) levels in the bloodstream rise because of muscle damage. This is the same thing that happens when one has a heart attack.
The area around the bite fills with excess fluid in a condition called edema. A bruising or discoloration from damaged capillaries occurs called Ecchymoses.
Large blood blisters called hemorraghic blebs, from bleeding under the skin, may form around the bite site.
It gets worse after that...........
Oh, I forgot the pain........
So......if you or your pup gets bit, I pray it's a dry bite. A friend's hubby was picking tomatoes and was hit by a small baby snake which are just as lethal as the big guys. Due to remote distance they were 3 hours from hospital. He still has all parts but 15 years later has pain and swelling in the area struck. He was in ICU for 5 days.
|In the practice I work at we have had one owner request a rattlesnake vaccine. We had to get it special since most practices dont carry it. In high snake territory the emergency clinics may carry the antivenin but honestly most doctors dont think much of it. I dont even remember why this owner requested the vaccine but for whatever reason the vets didnt have a certain feeling either way whether to give it or not.|
|I know a lot about this vaccine and the terrible things that can happen. The link below tells the nightmare we went through with our dog and this vaccine. Please read it:|
http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/vac ... vors9.html
I put this out on the internet and get emails from folks with sick, dieing, or dead dogs all because of this vaccine.
Davis vet school AND CSU (Colorado State) vet school do not recommend it.
I live in rattler country and on a farm. I will take my chances with the rattlers. At least I know they can be saved with anti-venom. I am not so sure anyone can say they will be saved by the rattlesnake vaccine.
This vaccine goes straight to the liver. Your dog will still need to see a vet and have anti-venom even with this vaccine.
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