There is a vaccine against rattlesnake bites. My vet here did research about it and decided against it. To be effective, that vaccine would have to be given every 3 months and she just thinks this is too much vaccination.
We have rattlesnakes around here. At the dog meeting we had here in Sun City they recommended training the dog how to react to a rattler instead of giving the vaccine for a bite that might never happen. We had a baby rattler in our garage end of 2008. I have not seen one since. But other people here have and at least one dog got bitten. We also have poisonous toads. The vet at the meeting recommended to rinse the mouth of the dog very good with running water (water hose) before jumping in the car to go the emergency clinic.
I think I would have a nervous breakdown living somewhere where Diamond could get bitten by a snake or eat a poisonous toad. :faint:
I'm already terrified of what she could eat off the streets of Toronto.
We have rattlesnakes here in no where land Kansas. The man who fills our propane tank almost kneeled on one. He was pretty freaked out. These snakes are near the size as the texas diamondback. I remember those as a kid when we lived near Big Spring Texas. I still jump to this date when I hear what sounds like that rattle.
I don't think I would give my dogs that vaccine. Do they have an antivenom for dogs like they have for people?
I live right outside Austin, TX and each year the number of snakes we kill in our own back yard becomes increasingly larger.:w00t: Were up to four since January.
I have discussed at length the rattlesnake vaccination with my vet, but have not opted to move forward with it. My vet stated that it must be re-administered every six months to be effective, and in my opinion, that is too many vaccines for any dog, big or small, but especially small. I do know some people who have administered it to a small yorkie/chi mix, with no ill effects, but the smallest dog my vet has ever given it to is a Boston Terrier, which is much larger than Rocky.
The vaccine is not fool proof either - The important thing to know about it is that you still have to seek immediate treatment for the bite - it basically just buys you time to get to the vet and lessens some of the effect of the venom, its not a cure by any means.
Eventually I would like to train Rocky to potty indoors only. Currently he does both, and prefers outdoors. He only goes out with me or my SO on a leash, and we have a system down which allows us to look over the area before he goes into it. When I open the back door, I look to make sure there isn't a snake present in the immediate area, we then take one step onto the back patio and I instruct Rocky to wait while I look around. We then proceed to the edge of the patio where he waits again for me to inspect the grass, once I give him the go, he gets a short leash to do his business. Its certainly not a perfect system, but until I can successfully retrain him to indoors only, its all I've got. We also only go out during daylight hours, never at night, when my ability to check for snakes is greatly reduced.
My parents did have a Dalmatian who was bit (bit, bitten??) by a rattlesnake a few years ago, he did survive, and is still alive, but it was very touch and go for a while. He was bitten on the neck, no one saw him get bitten (he is allowed outdoors by himself), but after getting bitten he made his way to the back door, and when my mom opened it, he was swollen and struggling to breath. They rushed him to the vet, where anti venom was administered, among other things, and again, he did survive, but it was awful. He was somewhere around 12 or 13 years old when this happened, and is about 16 now, so it is amazing that to me that such an elderly dog could survive this. My parents never found that snake, and have never seen one in their yard again.
I hope the vaccine continues to improve, and more tests and information about the safety of its long term use are released, as well as its effect on small dogs, but even if in the future, I am convinced its safe, we will still stick with our leash, b/c as I said above, its not a cure - its a few more minutes until you get help.