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SageWay

Lasting effects of snake bites

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I've never posted here but have lurked for years. Thanks for wonderful topics. Brief intro: I have a small flock of mostly hair sheep that I raise for meat. I do have Border Collies 'cause I wouldn't want to do what I do without them. I have also trialed. I grew up with cattle but moved to sheep about 15 yrs. ago.

 

Now I'd like to introduce a topic for discussion. I live in an area (central Oregon) where there are a lot of rattlesnakes. I've had several dogs bitten over the years. None have died but there has been lasting side effects. A friend's dog was totally deaf within 2 years of being bitten. A year after one of mine was bitten she was no longer able to work or run for any length of time without collasping. Neither has any genetic history of the effect anywhere in their lines. A vet that was consulted about the collapse said she was confident in saying it was caused by the bite and that snake bites will effect some system in a dog that is bitten.

 

I know others live in areas with worse snakes than what I live with. I was wondering what others have experienced with their dogs. What you did, what side effects you've noticed. I know some side effects in a couple of my dogs weren't very noticable, they were just never the same dog.

 

FWIW; I keep peacocks and that has helped in the numbers of snakes close in. I keep the kennels clear of all grass etc. I don't work (unless absolutely have to) dogs in the sage and high grass. And I keep Benedryl with me at all times.

 

Oh and a side note: my sister-in-law has been bitten twice. She knows about the lasting side effects.

 

vs

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We've had a few Beagles bitten, and one GSD. We have timber rattlers. One of the beagles lost his eyesight, but he was bitten on the brow. I'm really surprised he survived the bite. There were five pups that got on a snake when out hunting and all came back with bite marks on the face and throat. Don't know what kind of snake, could have been a moccasin. I watched a tiny rattler bite one of the beagles in the kennel before I could get in to kill it. She survived. The GSD has a large deformed paw where he was bitten that never healed right. He was bitten again about a year later on the neck. I'm sure that that snake had just used up his venom, as he was over five foot long, and Ben didn't have near the reaction as the first time. Other than the dogs seem to develop a hate for snakes (and some of the scars can be nasty) I've not seen a lasting reaction. Or I guess I should say that I've not recognized a lasting reaction.

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I haven't had one of my own dogs bit, but in working for a vet for many years, I've seen many snake bites. We had one dog that was bitten in a foreleg that ended up with arthritis in just that leg. We had one that was bitten in the mouth and had salivary gland issues for the rest of it's life. And we've had a few that seemed to have immune issues, but you couldn't prove they were from the snake bites.

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Our 4 year old dog was bitten by a rattlesnake and now has a permanent limp with that leg and when it is cold he cannot use it at all. No there signs we have seen. My GSD was bit in the throat and he passed away within 20 minutes. 

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My Labrador was bitten by an Western rattlesnake 2 years ago and suffers from a lowered immune system and is now being hospitalized for pneumonia. She has inflammation in her neck where she was bitten, still to this day.

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A week ago my 14 year old very healthy Timberwolf Akita  was bitten by a rattler on the front left side of his mouth. He has extreme weekness in his legs, can support his weight to walk some, but I have to stand him up to get that to happen. I wondered if this muscle weakness is temporary or if it will be chronic. A week isn't a lot of time. He is eating and drinking fine, and has good elimination...but lays around most of the day and nite. Thank you for any help.

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Just saw this but my BC was bitten in the on the top of the head, only a one fang bite, did the full ER very treatment including antivenin. It was a western diamond back rattlesnake. She lost a lot of stamina and confidence following the bite and stopped wanting to do our casual herding lessons (she was at the dog park when bitten.) Three years after the bit she developed an enormous mass on her liver and then had something go very wrong with her kidneys we couldn't get diagnosed before she passed away. UC Davis vet was interested in the snake bite history, but, unfortunately we have no idea if anything was actually related to the bite. The stamina/confidence decrease I blame 100% on the snake bite. 

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