Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

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ScottE
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Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by ScottE » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:05 pm

We have a descent population of cottonmouths, copperheads and rattlers around and I was just wondering if anyone had a dog get bit? My pup is curious as most are and with the weather warming up it has me worried.

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Cajun Casey
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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Cajun Casey » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:57 am

I dropped $4500 in three days when my oldest male got triple tagged by a copperhead late last summer. Snake avoidance probably would have made no difference because there is deadfall in our woods and an abandoned salvage yard adjacent to our property. Bite pattern looked like he stuck his head into a tight space and got nailed. Cottonmouths are usually fatal to a dog. Most people feel the vaccine does some good against rattlesnakes and maybe copperheads.

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Gertie
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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Gertie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:38 pm

A friend of mine was running with his Visla and the dog got bit in the chest. My friend saw it happen and said the dog just didn't see the snake and ran over the top of it. The dog was vaccinated and it seemed to help quite a bit. The dog still needed treatment at the vet and it was still an emergency but he recovered pretty quickly considering that he was bit near his heart. Apparently the vaccine is most effective against bites from western diamond back rattlers which is what we have here so I guess we're lucky in that way. Sure hope I never have to find out first hand how well it works but I do have my dog vaccinated. Here's the website for the vaccine producer if you want to check it out. http://rattlesnakevaccinefordogs.com/index.html

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Doc E » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:56 pm

The best "vaccination" is to go to a Snake Breaking (Snake Proofing) Clinic.
Afterwards, your dogs will avoid snakes like the plague.



.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by JIM K » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:48 pm

46 yrs hunting with dogs never saw rattler while hunting in fall here in pa for grouse.
sadly i wish i could hunt earlier but we wait until its cool enough so rattlers are inside.
but now rattlers are protected here in pa.
my buddys dog died last year and he ran to camp with rattler on his neck.
it was 51 inchs long,yellow one.
dog died next day.
you cant let your dogs run loose around camps in summer.
if you have water nearby and lots of camps, you will have mice and snakes will be there.
almost all rattlers are near camps ,it seems.
you have to stay out of woods in summer with your pup.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Cajun Casey » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:56 pm

Doc E wrote:The best "vaccination" is to go to a Snake Breaking (Snake Proofing) Clinic.
Afterwards, your dogs will avoid snakes like the plague.



.
Totally useless if the dog runs up or falls in on a snake. Get the vax if feasible and know what a venomous bite looks like and where to take the dog.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by displaced_texan » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Good buddy had a dog get bit, same deal as Cajun's dog, never saw the snake.

It was about 10 years ago, and I don't remember the details of the story beyond some fast driving and a big vet bill. It was a prairie rattler, and the dog lived.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Cajun Casey » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:42 pm

displaced_texan wrote:Good buddy had a dog get bit, same deal as Cajun's dog, never saw the snake.

It was about 10 years ago, and I don't remember the details of the story beyond some fast driving and a big vet bill. It was a prairie rattler, and the dog lived.
No kidding on the fast driving. I called the emergency clinic while en route and began relaying information. The gal on the phone "suggested I bring him in." :) I went full EMS and told her I was seven minutes ETA her location and "suggested" they be ready to push drugs.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by displaced_texan » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:44 pm

Cajun Casey wrote:
displaced_texan wrote:Good buddy had a dog get bit, same deal as Cajun's dog, never saw the snake.

It was about 10 years ago, and I don't remember the details of the story beyond some fast driving and a big vet bill. It was a prairie rattler, and the dog lived.
No kidding on the fast driving. I called the emergency clinic while en route and began relaying information. The gal on the phone "suggested I bring him in." :) I went full EMS and told her I was seven minutes ETA her location and "suggested" they be ready to push drugs.
SUGGESTED you bring him in?

I remember the pics, his face looked NASTY.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by buckeyebowman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:47 pm

When I got my first Springer pup I took him to yet another friend's house to show him off and have him meet new people and see new things, part of the socialization process. He suggested we go for a walk. It was a warm mid-spring day. As we're walking though the woods I notice the pup dancing around like he's trying to "get" something. It was a copperhead about 15-16" long. I pick the dog up and we move away, then continue the walk. Not 10 minutes later the dog's doing it again! Another copperhead! I suggested we get the heck out of there as the place was infested! I'm so glad the pup didn't get nailed, although I recently read that, in Ohio at least, they don't treat copperhead bites with anti-venom anymore. They just give you pain meds and anti-imflammatories and send you home to ride it out. I guess the bites are almost never fatal. Well, for a full grown man, maybe not, but for a 12-13 week old pup, I'm glad I didn't have to find out!

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Cajun Casey » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:02 pm

My dog sustained three envenomated bites within a four inch circumference, fang spread 3/4" and one bite within half an inch of his eye. He had sat in a crate for six and a half hours after being bitten because he had come in and kenneled himself as usual before I left for work. At that time, there was no swelling. His lowest RBC was 19 during the treatment.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by mtlhdr » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:08 pm

Any suggestions on the age for snake breaking? I have a 7 mo old GSP and we're in rattlesnake country. There are several aversion clinics in the area starting next month and extending through the summer.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by mask » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:25 pm

Most of the dogs I have seen struck were running by or over the snake and in that case avoidence training would'nt help but would'nt hurt. I use the vacine and teach dogs to stay away from snakes. Anything you can do to help the dog is a good thing. When hunting in the early part of the season I carry benedryl, and a steriod. I kill every rattle snake I find.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by gotpointers » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:08 am

JIM K wrote:46 yrs hunting with dogs never saw rattler while hunting in fall here in pa for grouse.
sadly i wish i could hunt earlier but we wait until its cool enough so rattlers are inside.
but now rattlers are protected here in pa.
my buddys dog died last year and he ran to camp with rattler on his neck.
it was 51 inchs long,yellow one.
dog died next day.
you cant let your dogs run loose around camps in summer.
if you have water nearby and lots of camps, you will have mice and snakes will be there.
almost all rattlers are near camps ,it seems.
you have to stay out of woods in summer with your pup.
Whoever pushed for that protection for the snakes should take them in to their homes and yards.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Gertie » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:30 am

I know that this isn't going to be popular but I feel obligated to point it out. Most of the snake avoidance clinics that I've seen advertised are in direct violation of state laws. Specifically here in Oregon the snake avoidance clinics offered are based on exposing your dog to wild rattle snakes that have been captured, had their fangs either removed and/or had their mouths sewn shut and then hitting your dog with some high voltage when they come in contact with the snake. The problem is that when a person captures a wild snake (which at this point is legal in most states... look into it before you sign up) then that snake becomes their "pet" and as such must be treated as a pet and by law is subject to the various laws protecting pets from animal cruelty. So I'd be very careful about signing up for these clinics. I know the ones offered here are mostly illegal by state law but are rarely enforced. Like I said, I know a lot of people aren't going to like what I'm saying but the reality is that you can't just round up wild animals and use them to train your dogs regardless of your opinion of the personal value that you place on that particular species and the threat it poses. As a law abiding hunter I make it a point to operate within the perimeters of existing laws and understand that my recreational sport needs to exist within the context of the ecological function of the areas that I choose to hunt, regardless of the inconvenience to me and my dog. Feel free to stone me at will...

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Rockett » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:58 am

We have eastern browns and tigers here. You are lucky if you make it to the vet for vaccine (which costs around $1500), unfortunately we only have around 30 mins to get there. Touch wood, haven't had one bitten yet, but did manage to get some avoidance training done this summer with the few that ended up in the chook run. I know you guys are over winter, I'm so looking forward to it, summer stinks!

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by AzDoggin » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:24 am

Gertie wrote:I know that this isn't going to be popular but I feel obligated to point it out. Most of the snake avoidance clinics that I've seen advertised are in direct violation of state laws.
It's good to have that information so folks can make an informed decision. To each their own...

Doesn't change my intention in the least to have my next dog avoidance trained. When I'm feeling REALLY wild, I also go 58 in a 55 speed zone. :lol:

Edit: Here's a fairly balanced article by a dog trainer in Az who is a member of the Tucson Herpatological Society: http://files.meetup.com/227716/2005_060 ... idance.pdf
Last edited by AzDoggin on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by brad27 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:28 am

Gertie wrote:I know that this isn't going to be popular but I feel obligated to point it out. Most of the snake avoidance clinics that I've seen advertised are in direct violation of state laws. Specifically here in Oregon the snake avoidance clinics offered are based on exposing your dog to wild rattle snakes that have been captured, had their fangs either removed and/or had their mouths sewn shut and then hitting your dog with some high voltage when they come in contact with the snake. The problem is that when a person captures a wild snake (which at this point is legal in most states... look into it before you sign up) then that snake becomes their "pet" and as such must be treated as a pet and by law is subject to the various laws protecting pets from animal cruelty. So I'd be very careful about signing up for these clinics. I know the ones offered here are mostly illegal by state law but are rarely enforced. Like I said, I know a lot of people aren't going to like what I'm saying but the reality is that you can't just round up wild animals and use them to train your dogs regardless of your opinion of the personal value that you place on that particular species and the threat it poses. As a law abiding hunter I make it a point to operate within the perimeters of existing laws and understand that my recreational sport needs to exist within the context of the ecological function of the areas that I choose to hunt, regardless of the inconvenience to me and my dog. Feel free to stone me at will...
In California all you need is a Native Reptile Captive Propagation Permit and you can capture certain snakes. Cost $60.

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ScottE
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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by ScottE » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:33 am

Thanks for sharing everyone. I'm really glad I asked. Does anyone make dog snake chaps? It would be nice to have something to protect the chest and neck area.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by marysburg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:46 am

Hello Rockett, nice to get the viewpoint from down under. Snakes are a problem here too, but I don't think we have as many deadly varieties as you do. We stay out of some hunting areas until the cool weather drives the snakes underground, but there is always some risk when training in the summertime. Welcome to the forum!

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by AzDoggin » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:07 am

ScottE wrote:Thanks for sharing everyone. I'm really glad I asked. Does anyone make dog snake chaps? It would be nice to have something to protect the chest and neck area.
Google "hog dog vests" and you get these and others: http://stores.intuitwebsites.com/WildBo ... Detail.bok

The problem is that snake weather is warmer weather - for the dog, heat exhaustion becomes a risk with a heavy vest on...

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Last edited by AzDoggin on Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by DonF » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:05 am

Doc E wrote:The best "vaccination" is to go to a Snake Breaking (Snake Proofing) Clinic.
Afterwards, your dogs will avoid snakes like the plague.



.
The problem come's a lot of time's not by the dog going after the snake but rather the dog running over the shake. That's what happened to my squirt several years ago. The vaccine doesn't save the dog actually but rather gives you time to get help. Squirt caught it in the ankle of his left front leg. I got him to the vet but I've been told by several including one vet, that most dog's will survive a rattle snake bite unless it's in a place like the throat area in which case it is not the venom that kill's the dog in the throat, it suffocation form the swelling. I had a vet tell me years ago at a club meeting to not worry about it to much but get the dog quiet. According to him, by the time you got to the vet, the dog would be dead or better.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by Shagrunner » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Bit by a rattler in KS. Wasn't in a position to do anything about it at the time. Gave her some Benedryl and waited. She was back to hunting 3 days later.

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Re: Anyone ever have problems with snakes?

Post by SubMariner » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:32 pm

ScottE wrote:We have a descent population of cottonmouths, copperheads and rattlers around and I was just wondering if anyone had a dog get bit? My pup is curious as most are and with the weather warming up it has me worried.
While pygmy rattlers account for most of the strikes here in our part of Florida, diamondbacks, cottonmouths, and water moccasins are also something to think about. The day before we were due to take our dog for snake avoidance, he was bit by a pygmy. Two nights and ~ $3000 later, he was able to come home. So at the first opportunity we had, we enrolled took him for snake avoidance. Does it work? Yes and no.

When the dog can SENSE the snake, he avoids it at all costs. I have seen him stop dead in his tracks when a 6' diamondback slithered across the forest path one day. And even at the "refresher" a year later, he made sure he didn't go anywhere near any snakes he heard, saw, or smelled. But twice since then he has been hit by pygmies. Because they are "ambush predators" and literally bury themselves under debris, leaves, and the like. The dog didn't know it was there until he got tagged. <sigh>

That being said, we have signed up for a refresher for the older dog, and a first time session for the younger one. We figure anything we can do to lessen the odds of the dogs getting hit again is worthwhile.

FWIW, the snake vaccine is avoided down here because none of the indigenous species were used to make it, thereby making it pretty much useless.

The vet who does the clinics has pygmys, eastern & western diamondbacks. He does remove the fangs, but they grow back. He will also tape their mouths shut, but only during the training sessions.

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