Rattlesnake Vaccines for Dogs
As a dog owner and lover of canines, I'm concerned about dog health. I wish I'd known about rattlesnake vaccines for dogs years ago. Well, actually, they probably didn't even have them back then, when I specifically needed one.Twenty-five years ago, we had a champion Brittany spaniel named Jeanne. She was a superb quail dog and was somewhat “famous,” locally. In fact, we had many offers from hunters who wanted to buy her. My husband turned down all the offers, much to my dismay. I liked the dog, but she was never really a pet, as she was all business, but I figured we could always train another dog if we sold her. Just after we received our highest offer for the dog, she was bitten by a rattlesnake and killed.
Five years ago, I lost my Anatolian Shepherd, Case, to a rattlesnake bite. The big dog was in the fenced-in back yard, playing with my other dogs. By the time we got home from work, Case was already dead. My other two dogs, Akitas, had the snake cornered, and if we hadn’t arrived at that precise moment, they could have been bitten, also. If you live where rattlesnakes are endemic, your pet is in danger of receiving a snake bite. Rattlesnakes are often even found in suburban areas, so don’t think your dog is safe just because you don’t live in a rural area.
Think rattlesnake venom is deadly to humans? A bite from a venomous snake is more than twenty times more lethal for canines than for humans. The dogs that do survive are often permanently damaged.
Dogs are naturally inquisitive, and many of them seem particularly drawn to snakes. Maybe it’s part of their natural instincts. Of course, the canines don’t realize they’re playing with fire. Unless your dog is inside your home 24-7, or unless you live in an urban area that totally lacks serpents, he’s in danger of being struck by a venomous snake. The best way to protect your pooch from a snake bite is with a rattlesnake vaccine.
Most pet owners make sure their furry friends get a vaccine or booster for rabies each year, yet they fail to vaccinate their dogs and cats against snake bite. This is rather ironic when you consider that the chance of your pet getting bitten by a venomous snake is almost 300 times more likely than the animal contracting rabies. Pretty amazing, huh?
The rattlesnake vaccine can be given to any dog over the age of four months. The vaccine is perfectly safe and government approved. The side effects are rare, and when they do occur, they’re usually very mild. A very few dogs might have some irritation at the site of the injection, or they could have some aches and fever for a short period after receiving the vaccine. That's a very small price to pay for being safe.
The vaccine is very effective against all types of rattlesnakes except for the Mojave rattlesnake. Many vaccinated dogs that have been bitten by a rattlesnake show no symptoms at all. Other dogs receiving a snake bite after an injection might have some swelling and discomfort, but nothing like the symptoms an unvaccinated dog would experience.
If you make the wise choice to vaccinate your dog, he’ll receive his first shot any time after he’s four months old. He’ll receive a second injection 30 days later. How often your dog receives additional vaccines will depend on where you live. In areas with harsh winters, snakes might be active for only a few months out of the year. In that case, your dog would need a booster 30 days prior to “snake season.” If you live in an area with warm or mild winters, snakes might be active the entire year, so your pet would need a booster every six months.
The rattlesnake canine vaccine is manufactured by Red Rock Biologics and is available only through licensed veterinarians. Costs vary among veterinarians, but it is very affordable. Ask your vet about it.
The rattlesnake vaccine is specific for rattlesnake venom and is not effective against other types of venomous snakes, including the cottonmouth, the copperhead, or the coral snake. Also, the manufacturer states that even a vaccinated dog should be seen by a vet immediately after receiving a bite from a rattlesnake.
Read more about dogs and other pets:
- Flint River Ranch Dog Food Review
The market is flooded with all types of dog food: dry kibble, chewy bits, canned dog food, dog food in pouches, organic dog food, premium dog food, all natural dog food, a dog food for allergiesthe list...
- Product Review: Fresh Step Cat Litter
I have three daughters, and growing up, they all loved cats and kittens. Actually, they loved all animals. It would have been perfectly fine with them if they could have shared their rooms with a panda bear,...
- Buy a CatGenie at a Discount Price - Watch These Videos!
Love your cat but hate handling cat litter? And what about the inherent smell of having a kitty or two sharing your home? Cat litter has definitely come a long way from what it was several years ago,...
- Why Do Pet Owners Live Longer?
Ahhh...nothing like a dog's love! If you have a pet, or if you've ever owned a pet, you probably already know that having a furkid around can add a lot of happiness to your life. Sure, caring for an...
- The Ultimate Lap Dog
Hamlet and Grendel fighting over Uncle Steve's lap. Everyone knows that dog is man's best friend, right? Sure, we all know that. That's probably why millions of us own furry friends. A lot of folks like to...
- Dog Insurance: Health Care for Pets
Madison and her boxer pup, Moni. If you've owned a dog for any length of time, you understand the costs involved. In addition to the food, the toys, the bedding, and the grooming, there's the cost of...
- Tips for Choosing a Puppy
If you've made the decision to acquire a furry companion, you're making a commitment that will hopefully last for years. This is an important step, so you need to do a little homework before you go puppy...
- Gifts for Dog Lovers
Tristan Crow and Hamlet. Skittles. Puzzling over what to buy for someone for Christmas or birthday? If she's a dog owner, you have plenty of great choices! Most dog owners love their pooches, and a...
- Dog Training Tips: How to be the Pack Leader
All dogs are descendants of wolves, and even though our canine pets are domesticated, they still have pack instincts. Your dog doesn't think it's a person it thinks you're a dog. A dog needs and...
- Dog Attack: How to Protect Yourself
Recently, in my home state of Georgia, an elderly man and wife were attacked and killed by a pack of dogs. According to neighbors, the dogs had never shown any agression before. They looked like black lab...
- Why Great Danes are Great
You probably think the "great" in "Great Dane" refers to the dog's immense size, right? Naahhhhh...it actually means "great" as in "wonderful"! Anyone who has ever owned a good Dane will agree: it's just...
- Dog Training: Electronic Collars
If you own a dog, perhaps you've been frustrated at some point in training it to respond to your commands. You've heard of electronic training collars, also referred to as "shock collars," but were afraid...
- Guard Dogs for Families with Small Children
Finding a dog breed that's gentle and patient with children is easy. Likewise, finding a dog breed that's aggressive and protective isn't difficult, either. But how do you combine these salient...
- Best Home Guard Dogs
Guard dogs Theres a lot of debate among dog owners as to what a guard dog actually is. Below, five breeds are discussed, all of which should be considered home protection dogs. These are not sentry...
More by this Author
- EDITOR'S CHOICE68
Find out how to get rid of fleas, once and for all. Learn about a “secret weapon” that’s cheap, effective, safe, and easy to use.
An overview of dog pneumonia and our experience with the condition. Our three-week-old Great Dane puppy is recovering well from pneumonia now, due to antibiotics and good supportive care. Photos and videos included.
Tips for getting your disability claim approved quickly—from someone who's done it. Lots of good feedback and advice from readers, too!