or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › HELP ME copperhead/rattlesnakek bite on dog
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HELP ME copperhead/rattlesnakek bite on dog

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I need help. It is 2:29 am in the morning. My 4.5 month olf bull mastiff mix is snake bit. Can't get the vet to call back on his page.

What can I do? She weighs approx 50 lbs and was bit on the lip. She is swollen LARGE on her muzzle and under her neck has a knot the size of at least a softball. Her sweet little head is huge...

We have given her 25 mg of benedral for swelling/allergic reaction and washed it with peroxide. I read to do that online. WE HAVE HER CRATED IN THE HOUSE.

What else can I do till I can get her to the vet in order to save her life?????? I GAVE HER THE benedryl 10 minutes ago and she is sound asleep right now. My husband went to bed at 9 and so it happened sometime between 9-1:30.. I hope she lives to see the morning. She is foaming at the mouth.

IT WILL BE EITHER RATTLESNAKE, COPPERHEAD OR COTTONMOUTH...... But I feel it is more likely to be a rattlesnake. I have copperheads around here in abundance but have never seen one. I have killed several rattlers. I searched the yard by flashlight to try and find the damn thing to string it up but no snake was to be seen. I hope the other dogs injured it enough that it went off to die.

post #2 of 31
Keep calling or better yet - get the dog packed up and to the nearest emergency animal hospital, ASAP.
There's a chance that your regular vet, if a smaller clinic, may not have antivenin at hand - so you may be making a trip to a larger animal hospital anyways.

You really need to know what bit her so they can treat it, did you see the snake at all?

Good luck. I'm hoping she didn't get too bad of a bite, but regardless it's going to hurt a lot.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have paged the vet three times.......... I am going to keep paging him. I saw no snake. I was at work. I just know the varities we have here where I live.

Like I said, I have killed several rattlers, say one cottonmouth and have not seen a copperhead but I know they are there. We have lots of rock behind their dog yard and I suspect it was a rattler. Hopefully a pigmy.

she is asleep so I can't get a pic of the fang marks. The are about two inches apart. My husband said it was a big snake. One fang mark is on her upper lip and her lip is so swollen it is separated and oozing.
post #4 of 31
Are there other vets? Even if you have to drive 50 miles?
Waiting is not a good idea, the longer you wait the more time the venom has to do tissue damage - most pit vipers have necrotic venom.

I'm surprised your dog is able to sleep, the poor baby must be completely worn out.
post #5 of 31
Oh no! Your poor baby! I agree about emergency vet. He needs anti venom ASAP.
post #6 of 31
I agree - get to an emergency vet NOW!!
post #7 of 31
Please get him to a vet as soon as possible.

Our dog Opie had gotten bit by a snake or something one time, but I don't think Opie's was as bad as your dogs.

Our vet ended up lancing it and getting it to drain,

Please keep us updated on how he is doing.

Sending hugs and prayers from Mississippi for you and for the sweet dog.

post #8 of 31
Honey, you need to get that puppy to a vet ASAP! I just called my husband when I read the post, because his mom's dog got bit by a copperhead a few years back, and I thought maybe there would be something you could do before the vet. He said the main thing to do is keep him calm. The more excited or aggitated he gets, the faster the poison is going to go through him. Don't try to cut the bites and suck it out....apparently that doesn't work.

I hope everything turns out ok. I'm praying for your baby.
post #9 of 31
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
Don't try to cut the bites and suck it out....apparently that doesn't work.
This is accurate. It is said nowadays that when you attempt to suck venom from a snake bite victim, you end up poisoning yourself. The mouth is one of the fastest places for any poison or medication to take effect.

Please do take him to a 24hr emergency vet. If you can't check your yellow pages to see if the is one that does house calls. It may be expensive but it is worth it.

sending you lots of healing vibes
post #10 of 31
I pray you drove to the nearest ER vet ..
post #11 of 31
Jenn I know that you are way out and away from animal emergency but I know you will do exactly what is needed for your baby girl.......... I hope you were able to contact someone ..........Im sending you many prayers and vibes and big hugs to you.
post #12 of 31
Oh dear!

My prayers are with you both.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
I sat up with Blossom all night watching her with periodic naps in front of her crate. Early this morning at around 5:30am the vet called back very apologetic. He told me his beeper is on the blink. Before you slam me, let me say, I absolutely trust this vet. He is a genuine life saver as far as animals. I will do what he says.

He told me he does not use anti-venom because of the severe side effects also associated with it... He told me his normal treatment for snakebites is a steroid for the associated swelling and benedryl. He said "time" is what tells the story. He told me with all his snake bite patients, using this treatment, he has never had a single patient die. He said dogs handle venom differently than human bodies and a larger dog has a much greater chance of survival.

He said to keep her quiet.

I also kept giving her water to drink last night and also this morning. She is no long frothing at the mouth.

so........what did I learn from this.

My own observations and thoughts:
Evidently, the fangs did not totally inject the venom. There is a fang scrap on her bottom lip and then on her top lip is a fang mark that probably got her. Her lip swelling has gone down some this morning. The swelling under her neck is the same.

The vet said the big ball under her neck is edema and is normal if bitten by a snake.

I am going to keep watching her. She is playing and acts normal.

We also uped her benedryl last night before talking to the vet. She weighs 50 so we gave her 50 mg.

I also feel this morning that she probalby got bit by a pigmy rattlesnake. Why? Because they don't inject a lot of venom. If this had been a big copperhead, she would not be acting the way she is acting right now. Also she is not displaying the symptoms of a cottonmouth bite. If this had been a timber rattlesnake, she would also be sicker than she is now.

She is also running a temp which I treated with 3/4 of an adult aspirin.

I put her outside to tinkle and poop a few mintues ago. She instantly went to one side of the fence and started sniffing around looking. THAT IS WHERE IT HAPPENED. I am convinced of that. I am fixing to go snake hunting. I hope I have a dead snake in a few hrs.

This would have killed my dauchaund. Thank god Blossom is a big strong dog with a healthy immune system.

Steroids, benedryl, peroxide, aspirin for fever and water and prayers...
post #14 of 31
Prayers continue!

And kill lots of snakes! (I know they keep the rodent population down, but they scare me)
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have her back in the house. I don't want her to get overheated ... she is napping. No snakes so far. I'm going to do a little housework and then keep watching her.

I have not seen any snakes so far. I only did a mild search around the yard area. On my days off, tuesday and wednesday, I am going to burn some of the yard. That will drive anythign back as well. They just need to stay away from the yard. I am goint to burn approx 4'out from my fence aroudn the edges. They do not like crawling in ash.....just like any other animal.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Here's her muzzle today. You can see in a couple of them the upper fang mark. The swelling is down an extreme amt. She is still swollen and feels a little bad but she is eating, walking, playing and talking to me.

She is going to be ok... I know that becasue she is better today. The snake evidently didn't get a chance to inject much venom........ thank god. The swelling was 3x this last night. That's how much it has come down.

post #17 of 31
I am so glad to hear that she is doing better . I think that they make something that you can put around your yard to keep the snakes away. I can't remember what it is called, but I can find out if you want me too.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
They have some stuff at walmart but burning works better.......
post #19 of 31
Oh, poor sweetie! I'm so glad she's doing better!
post #20 of 31
I was afraid to come and look at this thread again, Jenn. I'm so glad she's going to be okay. Thank goodness she's already such a big girl. that she continues to improve.
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
She is doing good right now. Sleeping a lot but that is understandable with the amt of bendryl I gave her. Plus the aspirin.

This is a pic of her edema. Vet said this is very very common and is only a collection of water in her tissues. He said it will go down on it's own.

In the first picture in this thread you can see the scrap from the other fang on her bottom lip...

Juan just told me he does not think it was a pigmy rattler. He believes it to be a much bigger snake due to how far apart the fang marks are. It might have been something else other than the suspected pigmy and we just got lucky that both fangs did not penetrate and eject venom... She is a fast moving dog and possibly the strike was while she was in motion. Hopefully this will teach her to stay away from snakes. The fang marks are a good 2-3 inches apart. It had a big mouth.
post #22 of 31
WOW! I am coming into this late but I am glad everything will be alright! And now that you have posted this hopefully others will benefit from your nightmare!
post #23 of 31
Oh Jenn,
I just saw this thread.
Poor Blossom and poor you and Juan.
You're right, if it had been Muffin she would have never made it.
I know how much you trust your Vet, Jenn.
I don't blame you for having that kind of faith in him, especially since he went above and beyond to save Toe Man's life I agree he's one smart Man and knows what he's doing.

Good luck on the snake hunt, but Dear God PLEASE be careful the last thing any of us want to read is that you or Juan got bite.

Sending lots of for Blossom.
post #24 of 31
I am so glad your vet called you back... do you have the steroids??... IMO likely a copperhead , they can be big and the venom is not as powerful as rattlers... ie many small dogs in my area get bite and survive
post #25 of 31
I just finished reading this thread and I'm so glad she's doing better! Poor girl! I hope she fully recovers.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Sharky, I also think it was a copperhead.... For two reasons. First, the fang marks were too far apart to be a pygmy rattler. And second, her rate of recovery. But......it still could have been a timber rattler. Since one fang scratched her but not below the skin and the other nicking her but breaking the skin, it could have been. I think she only got a small amt of venom but it was some strong stuff... I say that due to the amt of edema she suffered. I honestly think the benedryl saved her life. In the pics, you can see how swollen her neck was. I think the benedryl controlled that from getting worse so her breathing was not impeded.

The fangs grazed her. The one that broke skin, did not penetrate very deep. But it did break skin.

And I hestitantly say, she is totally recovered. The edema is nearly gone. I just got home from work and she looks absolutely normal except for slight swelling on her face and lip. The ball on her neck is completely gone. It feels normal to the touch.

I'll say something else too. The ball on her neck was the first thing I noticed. I did not "see" her swollen head. I was in the LV petting her with the only light being from the TV or it was dim. When I felt the ball I freaked out and thought she had swallowed a tennis ball and thought she was going to choke. I held it in my hand and tried to open her mouth and she cried. She has hassling and foaming at the mouth and I thought she was choking. It hurt her to touch her. I turned the light on and couldn't believe my eyes. It was horrible. I instantly knew it was a snake bite. I woke Juan and he started soothing her and putting her in the crate to avoid her jumping around and spreading venom though her system. She sat in the crate and cried while I quickly looked on line for something to do. I called the all night emergency vet in springfield and they would NOT tell me anything to do over the phone because they said if she died they would be liable for a law suit. I hung up on them. The s. That's when I started calling my vet at home. I would never take her to the emergency vet because my son took his cat once after getting run over by a car. They told him he was only bruised after doing xrays and charged him 260.00 and he took Tiger home. Tiger died two days later of internal bleeding. I will never go there. Tiger died a horrible death due to incompentance of the damn vet on duty that night.

Anyway I have breathing difficulties myself and always keep a steroid shot handy plus benedryl. I gave blossom my benedryl. I did not give her my steroid shot however. And I also have 50 mg steroid pills that I hate to take. I did not give those to her either. But I recognized her choking as needing something quick...

Benedryl saved her. Her airway was closing rapidly. Thank god I did not sit at work and visit but came right home. She was outside and Juan was asleep. When I got home she was on the top step by the back door laying down whining.

I kept her in all day today in the cool and Juan kept her in too when I went to work. We worked different shifts today so except for two hrs, we were here with her. She was crated in the house for those two hrs. Her head was hot with fever all morning till I gave her aspirin... That helped her alot.

He put her out when it cooled down at around 8:30 tonight but left the lights on outside. I let her in when I got home. Her neck edema is gone.

I have been reading about edema and pit vipers bites. It seems the size of the edema lets you know how much envenomation occured. Here is an article on it....


Well, time to give my little kitty her meds..... Blossom is fine.......

What a thing to happen. I hope with all my heart she remember this and avoids snakes.

She acts completely normal tonight. Slight facial swelling is all. Plus the fang marks are still there but they will heal.

Thank you for all the prayers. I'm sure they helped....

And Gracie, tuesday and wednesday are going to be "de-snaking" days...
post #27 of 31
poor sweetheart. I am so relieved she is doing okay. may I ask where you live? Do you live out in the country? thank goodness there's no snakes where I live since I live in the city and thank goodness she isn't a real wee puppy or the bite could have been fatal. Please give her a hug for me and hopefully she doesn't go near a snake again. usually some snakes attack for no reason at all. she might have just accidentally stepped on it.
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
I live in SW Missouri in on the edge of Mark Twain National Forest in a very very wooded area.

I think it was her first snake and she probably went to smell it and it bit her on the mouth.
post #29 of 31
I'm so glad all the swelling has gone down.
Please be careful looking for those snakes!
post #30 of 31
I live in a Dallas suburb, near a huge park. We have all kinds of widelife roaming the area. Snakes, squirrels, possums, ducks, geese, coyotes. There is an Outdoor Learning Center (part of the school district, functions as a wifelife rescue) in the park. On one of the rare snow days here, the director was at the Center, feeding the critters, when he saw a cougar outside.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats and Other Animals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › HELP ME copperhead/rattlesnakek bite on dog