A rattlesnake bite to a dog is a nasty thing. Dogs are curious, and that can get them into trouble. They don’t know it’s better to stay away from rattlesnakes. If you live in an area with rattlesnakes, it’s a good idea to be ready for the worst-case scenario ahead of time. Once a bite occurs, you don’t have much time to save your dog’s life.
Most Rattlesnake poison dissolves tissue and bones. The longer it circulates in your dog’s body, the more severe the damage. Death can occur within one hour without treatment.
Rattlesnake vaccines are available, but they don’t provide immunity. They just buy you a little more time to get your dog to the nearest vet. Rattlesnake vaccines are also known to have serious side effects. But if you want to administer that to your dog, it is certainly a personal decision. If it makes sense in the first place depends on your dog’s living arrangements. For example, it could be an option if it takes you 1-2 hours to reach a vet after a rattlesnake bites your dog.
However, snake handlers told me—and additional research confirmed—that the same effect of slowing down the poison can be accomplished with Benadryl. I consider that a better option, and I always have some with me when I hike with my dogs. This is the same for a rattlesnake bite on a dog or a person. You administer it per directions on the package. For a dog, it would be the dosage of a person of the same weight.
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training
Rattlesnake avoidance classes for dogs are also a good idea. They teach your dog to stay away from rattlesnakes in the first place. Refresh the training annually. I take my dogs to Animalia Herpetofauna Inc.’s Rattlesnake Avoidance Training as I like their conditioning protocol the best. They also offer annual re-checks to strengthen my dog’s awareness.
After A Rattlesnake Bite
Once a rattlesnake bite to your dog occurs, we need to get your buddy to the closest vet, who has rattlesnake anti-venom in stock. Not all vets do, as it is expensive and expires quickly. Below, I am listing vets in Southern California who told me that they always carry rattlesnake anti-venom. I will update this post occasionally as I find additional vets. These are only some of the vets in my area. Many more carry the anti-venom; check with your local veterinarians.
Centennial Animal Hospital – 1935 Compton Avenue, Corona, CA 92881 | phone: (951) 371-7383 told me they always have anti-venom for rattlesnake bites for your dog.
TLC Animal Clinic – 2575 Chino Hills Pkwy #B, Chino Hills, CA 91709 | phone: (909) 606-1588 told me they always have anti-venom for rattlesnake bites for your dog.
East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic – 938 N. Diamond Bar Blvd, Diamond Bar, CA 91765 | phone: (909) 861-5737 told me they always have anti-venom for rattlesnake bites for your dog.
Readers are encouraged to send us additional vets who always carry anti-venom, using our contact form.
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