PET STORIES: Dixie Recovers from a Snake Bite

Meet Dixie. As you can see from her swollen nose, Dixie suffered a bite after sniffing out a slithering member of one of Texas’ 15 varieties of poisonous snakes. In general, snakes want to be left alone. But when an inquisitive dog comes along, probing every mysterious hole in the ground, sniffing under downed logs, slogging along the riverbank and digging up leafy patches on the forest floor, they can easily get struck by lightning – of the serpentine kind!

Odds of Recovery for Dogs With Snake Bites

Fortunately, if your dog happens to be bitten by a poisonous snake, the odds are in favor of a complete recovery. The degree of damage inflicted by a venomous snake is determined by the age and species of snake, the intensity and depth of the fang penetration, the amount of venom injected, the location of the bite and the size of the dog. Just like we did for Dixie, our doctors will implement an aggressive treatment plan that involves IV fluids, pain medicines and, in most cases, administration of antivenom.

The Rattlesnake Vaccine

The PARC also offers the rattlesnake vaccine, which can help pets stay protected against the most severe of snake bites.

Rattlesnake bites can destroy skin and muscle, can cause permanent liver, kidney, neurological and joint damage, and the bites are severely painful.

Even when dogs survive, rattlesnake bites to unvaccinated dogs can take months to heal because of the necrosis of the skin and muscle around the bite site. This muscle destruction and neurological damage may never fully heal.

The vaccine is designed to simulate the dog’s natural immune system to produce antibodies that can neutralize rattlesnake venom and make the recovery easier.

Should Your Dog Get a Rattlesnake Vaccine?

The vaccine can be used with healthy dogs over 4-months old. It’s especially recommended for dogs that run and romp in the woods out in the country. The benefits of the vaccine include reduction in the severity of the bite and a potential reduction of the cost of treatment.

If you think your dog could be exposed to rattlesnakes, ask one of our veterinarians about the rattlesnake vaccine. They’ll help you make the right vaccine decision for your pet.