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Snakes out this Spring! My poor JRT

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  • Snakes out this Spring! My poor JRT

    We have lots of snakes in our area and some on our property. I know that I have been lucky that my Jack Russell has never gotten too close to one but my luck finally ran out. Yesterday she was bit. Did not see it happen and did not see the snake but heard her barking and figured out it was not just a squirrel, rabbit, etc. from her tone.

    Long story short I was able to figure out from the tiny bit of blood on her head that she had been bitten and took her right to vet. She is stable today after $1000 of vet bills and a very scary 24 hours. (was definitely a poisonous snake, probably pygmy rattler)

    All I can say is lesson learned. While I was at vet they got a call about a horse being bitten. Be careful and don't let your "hunters" go in the woods.
    Last edited by bizbachfan; Apr. 20, 2011, 12:57 PM.

  • #2
    Glad your dog is doing well and hope for her continued improvement. I'm sorry this happened to you guys.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks. I always knew it was a risk. Thank goodness for anti-venom! She is still very swollen and uncomfortable but alive and that is all that matters... but I don't want anyone else to have to deal with this... though I am sure it is inevitable..... but I did take unnecessary risks.


      • #4
        ((hugs)) hoping your JRT has a good recovery.
        Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


        • #5
          Wow, really scary, glad he is ok.

          Around here, we know us and our animals are playing russian roulette with rattlers.

          My 9 lb rat terrier was bitten twice, the second time a big dose of venom and almost didn't make it.
          Antivenom probably saved her, along with getting to the vet in record time.
          Her head was the size of a basketball, could not see her eyes, didn't know if she would make it alive to the vet, a terrible time.
          She was my dog after four years dogless, losing my border collie and right hand cowdog to a rattler.
          That was taken couple days later, the swelling partly down:


          Sometimes, dogs happen on a snake before they know it was there, like mine, got her nose in a rabbit hole that had a rattler visiting.


          • #6
            Ugh, I'm so sorry for your girl and hope she recovers quickly. I've never found a live rattlesnake on my property but had a huge scare a few years ago. While cleaning out the auto waterers I found some dead reptilian looking creature in one. After pulling it out I realized it was a baby rattlesnake. This auto waterer was four feet off the ground, I was mystified how it even got there. It was torn to shreds so best bet was a bird killed it, stopped for a drink at the waterer and dropped it in, but it scared me half to death!


            • #7
              What a nightmare! I worry terribly about my small dog, a pom, and I keep him inside almost all the time. It would drive a JRT crazy.
              I hope your dog recovers completely.
              There is a "vaccine" for rattlesnakes for dogs that I know of. It will NOT save your dog's life without antivenom, but it WILL keep them alive while you get them to the vet.
              Falconers I know get their JRTs done because the dogs' job is to flush stuff and they are rooting around where the snakes live.
              It's something to think about if you worry about it happening again.
              "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


              • #8
                I hate that your little JRT was bitten by a snake! I have a JRT and that exact same fear - and it's that time of year! Glad you got her to the Vet quickly and they were able to save her life! I know how you feel - I was dog sitting for a friend a while back and her little hound mix was bitten on the side of her face. I had gone to walk the dogs and noticed her face was a little swollen. The people lived on a lake so I figured she had been bitten by a water moccasin - it was nearly 11 PM and my friend told me to take her to the ER Vet - they did save her - I felt awful! Three of her other dogs have been bitten before! The snakes come into the dog yard - that would worry me to death!!!


                • #9
                  I live in SoCal and it has been a very "snakey" spring so far. I frequently run on the trails above our house and in my last two outings I have seen quite large rattlesnakes both times (one a little too close for comfort! ). One of my friends' JRT's did die from a snakebite in their own backyard- and she is a vet, and administered anti-venom within an hour of the dog being bitten.

                  My neighbors told me that last year they twice found rattlers in their backyard... this is terrifying to me with my young kids and dog. I no longer let my daughter run out into our backyard in the mornings without doing a snake-check first! And quite frankly, after my snake check I send the dog out before the kids, as she will find any critter I may have missed. As much as I love our dog I would infinitely rather she got bitten over my children.

                  I also saw a bobcat a few weeks ago when I was riding my horse on the trails. Very cool. Neither it nor my horse were afraid so I was able to get quite close- maybe 10 feet. Glad it wasn't a mountain lion!
                  ~Living the life I imagined~


                  • #10
                    I'm so sorry your doggy was bitten but I'm so glad he's going to be ok.
                    Most folks here know I have personal experience with this, my Lab Megan was bitten 2 years ago this July 5 in the face by a 6' rattler in the yard right in front of my house. Unfortunately I didn't get her to the vet in time due to distance and having to round up the other dogs and kill the snake. She got one vial of the antivenin and died anyway. It was horrible.
                    That was the third rattler we had had in the yard in about 5 years, and then two weeks later we had another in the barn, and had one in one of my stalls last summer. So be careful if you have seen one there are others you have not seen.
                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                    • #11
                      So sorry for you JRT's snake bite!! Glad you got help in time, but sorry for the big vet $$$. That is one of my biggest fears here in "Water Moccassin Alley". I killed my first of the season a few days ago!! Temps went from 80's down to high 30's this am, but they will be back out when the temps warm. I HATE snakes!! I keep Dex on hand and a hot line to the vet!! I'm really worried about our SA Boerboel pup (about 140 lbs. at 10 months) who leaps into the creek every chance he gets.

                      FYI...years ago I had a Shelty get bitten on the nose when she was rooting in the leaves for mice. My vet gave me medication directions over the phone, but I went a step farther and applied Uptite Poltice (very gently) to the puncture wounds on her nose. It was like putting paste on an inflated balloon, but the poltice immediately started drawing the venom back out of the dog's nose. Amazing to see!! The vet was astounded by the action of the poltice and added it to her treatment of snake bites. Just a few days later, the vet's own sister's JRT was bitten on the face and poltice was applied with similar results!! No necrosis of the nose or face. This is something to keep in mind.
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks for sharing your stories. Sorry for your loss Jaegermonster. (: I live in NE FL as well. The poultice does really make sense to me. Mine was bitten on the head which I hear is actually better than a limb. I got her to the vet and anti-venom administered within 20 minutes. Today she is home but her face is really swollen and she is pretty miserable.

                        I will try to post pics but last time I did no one could see my FB even though I messed with my settings. But will give it a try. My sister's JRT up in Michigan ate my 4 year old nephews dark chocolate piece of cake and spent all weekend in emergency clinic, not a good week for us and we have been saving our pennies to spend at the Rolex, guess we will be eating peanut butter and jelly and "window shopping." But the $2,000 spent on our JRTs is well worth it! I told my brother to lock his away for the next few days to make sure nothing happens to it.

                        So here goes, try to post a pic



                        • #13
                          Can't see the picture, is under login.

                          Glad that he is over the hump.
                          I remember and it was two or three years ago, the antivenim alone was then hard to find and $410.


                          • Original Poster

                            One of these days I will figure out how to post photos LOL. I used to be able to. The antivenom was $700, but I recall a few summers ago when no one had it and if they did it was over $1,000. At least my vet had it thankfully.

                            Never tried photobucket.


                            Last edited by bizbachfan; Apr. 20, 2011, 06:03 PM.


                            • #15
                              There is a rattlesnake vaccine available for dogs. Apparently if it doesn't work completely it will slow down the reaction.


                              • Original Poster

                                Bells, I had never heard about this until this happened, worth looking into but I think my JRT's days of running free March through December in Florida are gone. Had the timing not worked out just perfectly I don't know if she would have made it. I am still a little nervous we are less than 48 hours out but I guess she is going to be okay. Can't wait to see her "normal" again.

                                Bluey that picture you posted made me feel better, her face is huge right now. Told to keep massaging the fluid and give benadryl every 8 hours.

                                P.S. can you see the photobucket pics?


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by bizbachfan View Post
                                  Bells, I had never heard about this until this happened, worth looking into but I think my JRT's days of running free March through December in Florida are gone. Had the timing not worked out just perfectly I don't know if she would have made it. I am still a little nervous we are less than 48 hours out but I guess she is going to be okay. Can't wait to see her "normal" again.

                                  Bluey that picture you posted made me feel better, her face is huge right now. Told to keep massaging the fluid and give benadryl every 8 hours.

                                  P.S. can you see the photobucket pics?
                                  I can see the second one, the first link didn't bring anything.
                                  I use photobucket also and it is a nuisance, you have to remember to click twice to load, the second time that "upload to my album".
                                  It is still better than others, webshots keeps seizing my computer up.

                                  Looks like your dog is in good hands, just have to watch it and give it time.
                                  I think that picture was third day on my dog, she made a complete recovery without any skin damage, other than a small scar where the bites were on the side of her nose.
                                  This is from the side, so you may compare:


                                  This is what her normal face looks like:



                                  • Original Poster

                                    Bluey makes me feel a lot better! thanks for sharing. Hope everyone stays safe this summer. thanking God for my little girl, she is the love my life


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Just an update she is much better this am...........can't sleep all the way through the night until I know she is all better....Thank goodness!


                                      • #20

                                        My dog was touch and go that first night.
                                        Her vet is my friend and called at 9:30 pm, as she was leaving the clinic after some emergencies.
                                        She had sent us home with an armful of medications.
                                        I said she was crashing, so she came and we gave her more medicines and she left me giving fluids.
                                        I think that evening intervention helped save her.

                                        My good soul of a friend left at 10:30 to go 45 minutes away to her home, was speeding and almost got a ticket.
                                        She told the officer she had been treating a patient for a snake bite.
                                        It was the first week of December and he would not believe her.
                                        Snakes are not out in December here, but it was in a hole, on a warm day and a nosey dog got bitten.
                                        He let her go with a warning ticket.

                                        I hope your dog will also be fine, once it is over.