by Erin Shehane, LBVC client since 1997
In 2004 our Elkhound was bitten by a rattlesnake. It was horrifying. My dog’s face swelled up to three times its normal size. I rushed Ty to Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic. Although Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic was 20 minutes away, I did not even consider any other clinic. After a day or so in the hospital, he was fine. Sometime later, our Border Terrier, Killerbea, was bitten. The drill was repeated. I felt like years were knocked off my life, as my dogs are my children.
Shortly thereafter, the vaccine became known to us. We did not hesitate to have them vaccinated and sure enough, our dogs were bitten again. However, the effect was nowhere near as bad. Yes, I still had to rush my dogs to Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic, but the reaction was not as bad. My dogs have been vaccinated every year since the vaccine was made available to us. Regrettably, they may suffer a bit of a reaction from the shot, BUT, my dogs patrol my yard and make it safe for my kids. Although my dogs are my children, I really have to put it in perspective… I would rather a snake bite my dog that has been vaccinated than an unprotected child.
My puppies get their vaccination booster yearly. I take no chances. When we have had antivenin and hospitalization, we have always been happy with the rapid response and expert care at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic. Not all clinics have the vaccination or antivenin readily available, which is an important distinction. We have always been very happy with the care and attention our dogs have received when needing emergency rattlesnake services. Hopefully this info can save someone heartache.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the rattlesnake vaccine.