Nebraska Vets See Increase in Dogs with Rattlesnake Bites

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

Every autumn it seems there is an influx of dogs with rattlesnake bites needing treatment from veterinarians. Do the vets think it is because the snakes are more active? No. The likely cause is the dogs are hunting dogs in the snake's territory. With the beginning of hunting season there are more hunting dogs out in the open fields.

If a dog does get bitten the venom eats away at the tissue so it is best to take the dog to a veterinarian to save the dog. There is actually a preventive vaccine that dogs can be treated with, so that the venom is not as toxic to the animals. Currently there is a vaccine for dogs and horses, and one for cattle that is still being worked on. The vaccine lasts 6 months, so vets recommend giving it in June or July so it lasts through the fall. However, even with the vaccine they recommend bringing in any bitten animal. From


hunter25's picture

When I think about states

When I think about states with rattlesnakes it is not Nebraska that comes to mind. I suppose it's a good thing but so far ai heve never seen one anywhere. I have hunted in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Texas which are all states known to have them but do far nothing. One of the biggest reasons is it's probably just too cold in hunting season for them to be out there at the same time I am.

That's ineresting about the vaccine and if I had a dog out hunting in any of those places I would definately be looking into it.

deerhunter30's picture

In the part of Iowa that I

In the part of Iowa that I live in we do not have to worry about rattle snakes. But if you do live in a part of America that has rattle snakes I would think that it is a very good idea to have your animals vaccinated.

I would hate to lose a family pet or hunting dog to something like that when you had the means to stop it from happening.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

The vaccine has actually been

The vaccine has actually been around for awhile.  When i got my dog about 7 years ago, I had her vaccinated as soon as she was old enough.  I had planned on her becomming a hunting dog (chocolate lab), and being in the desert southwest, the chances of running into a rattle snake are pretty good.

Well, I continued that for about 4 years or so, but stopped when I realized she was more of a family dog, and never got her into the field.

It's amazing the difference in dogs who have had the vaccine, and those who haven't.  It can be thousands of dollars in treatments, and alot of times they end up dying anyway.  The Nebraska vet is right to recommend this.  Even if you don't have a huntig dog, just one that takes walks with you, or heck, even if you live somewhere that there is a possiblity of them getting into your yard.

niceshot_smitty's picture

theres been alot of snake

theres been alot of snake bites here in southwest this year too.   it really sucks.  i am finding snakes where i have never seen them before and it kind of bothers me know my kid plays around that area.  i just feel a good snake is a dead snake.  my feelings!

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Yeah that would be a bad deal

Yeah that would be a bad deal to have to ruch to the Vet with your dog as its flesh is being eaten away.  Nice to hear that there is a vaciine for it.  make you wonder why we do nothave one for humans yet?  I do not hunt much in rattle snake country, but you just never know.  they always say there is a bunch were we antelope huting in Wyoming, but I have yet to see one...knock on wood.