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I was reading sheepdog-L and read about a rattlesnake vaccine. Has anyone here ever had their dog vaccinated for rattlesnakes?

 

Don't know how big a worry rattlesnakes are out here but I know we have them.

 

We do alot of off lead hiking. Down in AR we came across a few snakes and the dogs didn't notice them. I was killing a baby copperhead on the porch and the dogs were all around. None of them showed any interest in it at all. But I'm a bit worried about them stumbling on to one by accident and then what?

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Actually there isn't a vaccine for rattlesnake bite. It's an anti-venom made from rattlesnake venom and as I understand it anti-venoms are specific for the kind of snake it is and are administered after a bite.

 

The best treatment for a bite in the field is to wrap the entire area in a bandage and transport to medical facilities. Nothing else. Don't cut, suck or try a tourniquet.

 

I've beenb thinking about snakeproofing the dogs. but it's expensive and even in the wild I don't see that many snakes unles I'm there during the early morning and evening hours when snakes are most active.

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Kristen, Red Rocks Biologics has a rattlesnake vaccine. I guess I would talk to my new vet and see what he/she recommends. Here is a link that has more: http://www.redrockbiologics.com/index.html

 

(Aside: Was today your son's first day at his new high school? I hope he has a great day and makes lots of new friends!)

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STOP!!

 

I know something about snakebite and I don't believe you can give your dog immunity from snakebite. Not only that I'm going to check it out today because if I'm right this thread is going in a dangerous direction. If I'm wrong fine, I'll take the heat for it but better to check it out first.

 

A reminder especially to city-zens there are more animal related health scams out there than there are email scams from Nigeria.

 

As long as we're on the subject when was the last time anyone here had a snake encounter. Been a couple of years for me.

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I already found the information on the vaccine. It's sorta like damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'll have to talk to my new vet (once I find one) to see what they recommend. I think I also need to talk to neighbors about how many snakes they actually see. For now I've decided not to go hiking in the early morning or late evening. I hear that is when the snakes are most active. It's still to cold for much snake activity but spring's coming quick!

 

Yes it is Ian's first day at school. DH and him are going to carpool. We chose to put him in a school about 1/2 hour away. Close to Dh's work. It's a much better school than the local one. He needs something to get him motivated. Seems like this school is going to be great! Couldn't tell if he was more nervous or me. Can't wait to hear all about it.

We've grown so close since this whole move thing came about. With DH gone for 8 months and then being here not knowing anyone for the last 2 weeks, it's him and me! He told me I'm a great person to hike and play with but he's ready for kids his own age. I took it as a huge compliment but we were both ready for him to start real life. Now for me to do the same! I'm looking into classes at the college today. I'm as nervous as him about starting a new school, heck for that matter any school. It's been a long time, I've never went to college, only trade schools.

We did go out with some of Dh's work people Friday night, Ian met their grandson (senior in the same school) and went out with him that evening and stayed till Sat. evening. Then they came back here and played 4 wheeler and got head to toe muddy. Hope the grandma was ok with that, they were a total mess. They had a great time. So he already knows some people. No girls yet! But I'm sure that's coming, he is the "new guy" so we'll see. I'll feel better when he's texting kids from around here instead of AR. His exchicky in AR already has a new dude, Ian acts like it doesn't bother him but I can tell it does.

 

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts, I'll let you know how it goes!

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Hey Desertranger

We ran into copperhead on a reg. basis in AR. My dogs don't react to snakes but I'm afraid if they bump into one accidently it will bite anyway. We didn't worry about cooperheads because they aren't fatal. I do keep benydrl around for just in case but don't konw if that is the correct protocal for rattlesnakes. We also had cottonmouths in our pond but they didn't pose much of a threat to the swimming dogs.

 

Yes there is a vaccine, just do a google and you'll find all kinds of info on it.

I don't vacinate my dogs willy nilly, so won't be rushing out for this one but I like to be educated on what's out there.

 

BTW....I haven't lived in the city for over 15 years. We're country people all the way, only new country now. Where we hike there are no people around and the likely hood of running across people are slim to none, it's private land and very backcountry. The 100+ head of elk, huge population of mule deer and wild turkey troop right out my front door are about the only thing I've seen around.

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A reminder especially to city-zens there are more animal related health scams out there than there are email scams from Nigeria.

Just curious, desertranger, what is your beef with folks who live in the city? You know, quite a few of us have advanced degrees in science, live in cities, and are actually fairly intelligent. Please do enlighten me as to the animal-related health scams that I might be ignorant enough to fall for.

 

Kristen asked a question. I passed along what I found. Kristen processes and makes her own decision. That's how it works here.

 

Kristen, I'll bet your son will make quite a few friends by the end of the week. Boys seem to be very accepting of the "new kid" and are pretty good about pulling them into the group. I don't live in the "girl world" anymore, but I wouldn't think it would be as easy for girls. Hopefully, "exchicky" will be pushed to the back of his mind when he sees the cute girls in the new school!

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Just curious, desertranger, what is your beef with folks who live in the city? You know, quite a few of us have advanced degrees in science, live in cities, and are actually fairly intelligent. Please do enlighten me as to the animal-related health scams that I might be ignorant enough to fall for.

 

That deserves its own thread and a full half hour. :rolleyes::D :D

 

OK Been reading up and made a few calls. Snake vaccines are not recommended. For one thing, as I said, it is snake specific being based on the venom of the Western Diamon back. We have 6 species of rattler here each with it's own venom from a simple hemotoxin in the Sidewinder to a complex hemo/neuro toxin mix in the Mojave Green. There is no guarantee that a snake vaccine will build up an immunity or that your dog won't have a reaction to the vaccine. I also know anti-venom serum runs about $2500 a dose. So perhaps the subject should be not so much about the vaccine but what happens during a strike and treatment.

 

Rattlesnake strikes are what most people fear. The thought of being bit and filled with a lethal amount of venom, about 125mg dry weight. While most snakes are not aggressive there are a few that are. The Westerna and Eastern diamondbacks being two of them. Fact is in most snake bites the venom is metered or in the case of a startled snake possibly withheld. That happens because the snake has no time to react properly in defense. A startled snake is going to give you either a full shot, potentially lethal dose, or nothing or almost nothing at all. It's a 50/50 call. A snake in defense or hunting is going to inject about small amount, ~25Mg dry weight, of venom on average. The reason it does not want to leave itself defenseless or going hungry while the snake produces more venom which takes time. Injection amounts can vary from a few Mg to the entire load. How much that is depends on the size of the snake. Most North American rattlesnakes have hemotoxins that spread through the circulatory system. A few have a hemo/neurotoxin mix. The correct first aid is to have the patient relax and control their breathing. Clean the bite area with fresh water only to clean off any venom then wrap the area above and below the wound with a wide bandage to minimize circulation. Keep the bite as far below the heart as possible and transport to a medical facility.

 

 

Buy a Desert Bandanna, the instructions are there. *grin*

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I have a small dog as well as Border Collies. My small dog got bitten by a copperhead and evidently got a full load of venom. He came close to dying. He killed the snake, but hopefully in the future he will leave them alone.

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Thanks for the info DR. I'll still be talking to the vet for more localized information. Who is it that is not recommending the vaccine?

The $50 that the vaccine cost would be a big differene to the $2500 anti-vemon serum. That could sway my decision if I found the vaccine could work for us.

BTW I think you desert bandana looks great but I don't live in that type desert.

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Kristen! So glad you made the move and your enjoying the new sceenery! Im jealous! I :rolleyes: Colorado, and out around Rifle there are some great places to hike and run. Ive been hiking around there numerous times with the dogs in the summer, and knock in wood, the worst Ive run across are lizards, and a few salamanders in the caves. I think its the Pygmy Rattler that is the most prevelant out that way, and they are said to be rare, but the longer you are out there, the more savvy you'll become. I think it was Amiliea's dog Price that was hit pretty good by a rattler awhile back, and she had blogged about it on her site. While it was touch and go for awhile, and Price was quite ill, he pulled through. Its been noted that most dogs dont die from a snake bite, but its a pretty scary ( and expensive) event none the less. Best of luck to you and your family, Im so glad you finally got moved. Your going to love it out there. And Elk! You lucky *#!&!

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Thanks for the info DR. I'll still be talking to the vet for more localized information. Who is it that is not recommending the vaccine?

The $50 that the vaccine cost would be a big differene to the $2500 anti-vemon serum. That could sway my decision if I found the vaccine could work for us.

BTW I think you desert bandana looks great but I don't live in that type desert.

 

 

In general from what I read there is no guarantee that it will work. In specific the herpetologist at the Living Desert reserve didn't have a great of an opinion on the effectiveness of snake vaccines in general again saying that there is no guarantee that it will provide immunity and that it might take several doses to build up a total immunity. He also told me that people who have built uop an immunity from the bite of one kind of venom don't necessarily have and immunity to another kind of venom. I stopped him before he launchd into the differences between hemo and neuro toxic vaccines. From my point of view $50 on something iffy is not enough of a reason to try it. Especially if it has unpredictable results.

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I have a dog who actively hunts rattlesnakes and has cost me a small fortune in treatment. My vet recommended the vaccine and I went ahead and had all my dogs vaccinated...simply because if one dog shows an interest in something, prey drive could kick in and others might go and see what she's up to. In all honesty, so far the border collies have stayed far far away from the rattlesnakes every time, but Mom Dog, the pit bull, is intent of ridding the world of them.

 

Anyway, the way it was explained to me is that it's not a foolproof vaccine in that your dog will not need care but chances are that he/she may not need the costly anti-venom AND at the very least, it seems to buy you some time to get to the vet. Living rurally...that was enough to convince me. The last time she was bit she did not need anti-venom and came home after a day. Was it the vaccination or was it a dry bite? Or is she just builidng her own immunity after countless doses of anti-venom?? LOL...hard to tell...but if at the least it does no harm...and if at best it helps...it's worth it as we DO have rattlesnakes sharing our property.

 

It's been out for a few years and time will tell if it's really effective or not.

 

Maria

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From my point of view $50 on something iffy is not enough of a reason to try it. Especially if it has unpredictable results.

 

 

No...but a $10000.00 plus vet bill for one bite might be an incentive to think about it. :rolleyes:

 

Maria

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I have no experience with the vaccine myself. That said, a lady in my agility class used to live somewhere out West where she ran into rattlesnakes all the time. She did get her dog vaccinated for it, and her dog had a very bad reaction to it. The dog lived, but the owner was pretty against the vaccine after that (her vet told her the reaction wasn't incredibly uncommon, but snake bites are common). That is the total sum of my knowledge of the vaccine, and only the experience of one vocal person, so take it for what it is worth.

 

I love the idea of a vaccine for snake bites, but it doesn't work against the two I'm most worried about every day anyway (water moccasins and coral snakes).

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All three of mine were vaccinated on the recommendation of my vet a few years ago because we regularly hiked in the summer months. We seldom do that anymore since I have no heat tolerance, so I haven't had them vaccinated again for it. None had any adverse reaction to the shot. Minne once started barking furiously, and dodging back and forth at something while on a hike one summer day a few years back. It turned out to be a mohave green rattler.

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So....I'll keep all this info under advisement. I still need to find a vet and check with the locals as to what's in my area. I'll have to check into the Pygmy Rattler. I know there are neighbor dogs down the way. She'll probably be my best advise person, she seems to be involved with her dogs and rescue.

Hey Darci, Yep...I'm here. Still trying to get my bearings but doing ok.

Having issues with the new highschool, they don't want to take all DS's classes and transfer them for credits out here. I want him to graduate on time.

So we checked out an alternative school today. It was awesome but DS wants to try and stick it out where we enrolled him. Good to have options.

Don't be jealous yet. I still don't have sheep and it looks like it'll be into summer before I get DH together on the fencing. There's perimeter fencing but it's ancient. Think I'm going for electic around about 10 acres and I'll go out from there. There is a barn but it's full of crap, not the organic kind, but junk. It's gonna take a backhoe but supposedly we have access to one kept down the road.

We live in a junkyard, (a noun not an adjective) it's our job to clean it up, part of the rent money! I think there might be some money to be made, at least to offset the fencing and home repairs that we need to make. I'm embarrassed to have anyone out yet but getting a start and I can see just how beautiful it can/will be. There's even a round pen sort of. Cleaning up and fixing up will be my new job. bad pay but great bennies!

 

Thanks guys for all the vaccine tips. I'm sorta anti vaccine but will do what I need to do.

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I have a dog who actively hunts rattlesnakes and has cost me a small fortune in treatment. My vet recommended the vaccine and I went ahead and had all my dogs vaccinated...simply because if one dog shows an interest in something, prey drive could kick in and others might go and see what she's up to. In all honesty, so far the border collies have stayed far far away from the rattlesnakes every time, but Mom Dog, the pit bull, is intent of ridding the world of them.

 

Anyway, the way it was explained to me is that it's not a foolproof vaccine in that your dog will not need care but chances are that he/she may not need the costly anti-venom AND at the very least, it seems to buy you some time to get to the vet. Living rurally...that was enough to convince me. The last time she was bit she did not need anti-venom and came home after a day. Was it the vaccination or was it a dry bite? Or is she just builidng her own immunity after countless doses of anti-venom?? LOL...hard to tell...but if at the least it does no harm...and if at best it helps...it's worth it as we DO have rattlesnakes sharing our property.

 

It's been out for a few years and time will tell if it's really effective or not.

 

Maria

 

Regards immunity, I think she's just building her immunity up overtime.

 

 

@Nancy the mojave green toxin is mostly a nerurotoxin, the vaccine is from a western diamondback a hemotoxin. I don't think it would have worked or even given you a chance in that case.

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Lucia has been given the rattlesnake vaccine from redrock. I researched it and asked a ton of people about it who had given it to there dogs. We have TONS of rattlesnakes where we hike and she likes to poke at snakes :rolleyes: I had gone into the vet's one afternoon to pick up some wormer and the vet tech said they has 3 bites that day alone.

 

Needless to say, I went ahead and had them give her the shot . First shot went OK, but she had a reaction to the second shot and her shoulder swelled up like a golfball and then burst :D Called the vet ASAP and he said she had the 1 in 1 million reaction he warned me about :D I spent to next week flushing out the puss in her shoulder. I won't be taking the same chance with Grady and Lucia won't be getting another one.

 

Not saying the shot is all bad, we just happened to have a bad experience with it. I hope that if either get bit, we are close enough to get them to vets.

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STOP!!

As long as we're on the subject when was the last time anyone here had a snake encounter. Been a couple of years for me.

 

 

*raises hand excitedly* Oh, me, me! I saw two sidewinders last month! Super cute! (yes, I'm weird). They wanted NOTHING to do with me.

 

Kristen, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You would have western rattlers and ime they are not very dangerous at all. Hiking once with my family's dog Calvin, we actually stepped right on one sleeping and woke it up! All three of us, the snake included, were scared s***less and me and Calvin jumped about 3 feet in the air. The snake coiled and rattled and absolutely let us get away.

 

Not like the Mojave green I saw last year that CHASED me 20 ft up a wash!

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My dog was snakeproofed before I got her, as she was in Arizona at the time. We only have water moccasins and copeprheads around here, so I keep a store of benadryl, etc. That said, one of my border collies tangled with a cottonmouth and died before he could make the five minute trip to my husband's veterinary clinic. That, of course, was an unusual reaction, since normally it causes pain and swelling, but isn't fatal.

 

I saw a picture and article in a hunting retriever magazine of a trial in the Fort Worth area where they picked up fifteen very large rattlesnakes prior to starting the trial in hopes of lessening the chance of one of the trial dogs getting bit by rattlesnakes. I noticed that in that area, snakeproofing clinics were common and not overly expensive.

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