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Old 09-24-2011, 02:25 PM
1,414 posts, read 3,046,971 times
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We were just outside and the dog pranced into the natural area and I heard a blood curdling cry like I have never heard. Short but ear piercing. The dog backed up, went to the other side of the yard but kept staring and barking at the area she had been in. I started out to get her, and of course that started the "you're not going to catch me" antics. There were no birds or squirrels I could see, and she was not looking up as she normally does when squirrel hunting.

I finally got her, washed off her paws in a tub of water (she was covered in red mud clay) brought her inside and examined her, as best I could, for any bites. I can't see any, but by that point, she really wanted to come inside.

I know from an experience a few months ago, the E-vet will say "if you're concerned, bring her in" and "if she shows signs, that's too late". But I don't want to overreact. I know the e-vet is limiting their liability with their general and conservative advice to me.

So I ask you, has your dog been bitten and could you tell from fang marks? Should I be able to see something that would tell me she has been bit? I have her on the couch next to me, and I am watching her closely. No swelling or anything is happening. She is just sleeping.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:33 PM
575 posts, read 391,646 times
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Why wait around here...get thee to a Vet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:53 PM
Location: SE Michigan
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The only dog I knew that was bitten by a snake died...it was a German shepherd bitten by a rattlesnake. Just saying. The only way to be SURE is to go to the ER vet. You don't say where you live - are there poisonous snakes where you are? Here in Michigan, there basically aren't (the only possibly poisonous snake here may be extinct by now.) You also don't say how large your dog is - the smaller the dog, the more susceptible it will be to venom.

Could have been a bee or wasp, too.

I would think it'd be quite difficult to detect fang marks on a hairy animal.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:01 PM
Location: Rural Western TN
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ok take a deep breath.

ALL snakes can bite but in the USA only copperheads, moccassins, rattlers and coral snakes are venemous!

firstly if it was a venemous snake bite, reaction is typically IMMEDIATE, you know pretty much straght away.
things to look for:

for the pitvipers (all but the coral)
the bite site would be swolen, red to purple (even black) hot to the touch and EXTREEMLY painfull, im not taking touch it and wince im talking shed fight you, shes probably scream if you whent neer it, venemous snake bites are excruciating. there would also be 2 distinct fang marks, size would depend on snake size, but it would be distinct.
symptoms typically start with extreem restlessness, panting, excessive drooling, weakenss particularly in the back legs.
theses are then typically followed by the runs, collaps, and often seizures.

the general rule of thumb is if the bite is not imediatly followed by LASTING excruciating pain...the snake wasnt venemous

coral snakes are a little different (and mojave rattlers) they have a neurotixin that effects differently than a pit viper, im told (as ive never experienced a coral snake bite or delt with anyone directly who has) that the initial bite is ot as poainfull and it can take about 5 mins before the pain kicks in...once again the bite would then be EXCRUCIATING!...
once again swelling at the site and redness (though not as bad as a pit viper) followed swiftly by vomiting, the runs, loss of bladder control, paralasys and convultions.
you would again see tiny fang marks at the bite site too.

if she let you touch her and bathe her and such after that..it wasnt a venemous snake bite.

she could have also stood on a bee or wasp.
stings often leave little but a red welt, but can be a problem if the dog has an allergic reation.
watch for swelling particularly of the face and/or joints and any signs of troubled breathing. stings are typically treated with benadryle for mild cases, more extreem reactions will need vet care.

keep us updated...but i can tell you, if she was ok after the initial yelp, its highly unlikely to be a venemous snake bite, and if she wasnt displaying any of the other symptoms within mins of the bite...your fine.

if you can find the wound site (if there is one) keep it clean and dry and watch for infection, otherwise i wouldnt worry too much.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:05 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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If there are poisonous snakes where you live I would go to the ER vet. I know it would worry me like crazy and I would be up all night checking on the dog.

You could try running a wet white paper towel all over the dog, concentrating on the paws and legs. Being wet and white it will show any dried blood that may not be visible to you.

I agree that it could have been a bee or wasp, Sophie has been bit by them a couple times and they certainly draw a yelp from her.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:07 PM
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She's 38 pounds, and the type of venomous snake here is the copperhead. I went out and searched and can't find a snake. I don't see any bites, punctures, swollen areas, or any evidence of trauma to the dog's body (but yes, she has hair, albeit short and she is a hound-type dog), she has complete muscle control and has no painful-to-the-touch areas. She is now obnoxiously bothering me, wanting to play. But I'm not letting her get overly active until some more time passes just in case.

The reason I did not take her in is I only heard a yelp (ear piercing, but just one yelp); no marks, no swelling, no pain, acting normally neurologically - so I would be going in, spending $100 to walk in the door (literally) and I would say "she yelped". That's why I asked for those who have gone through an actual bite, did you see marks/evidence?

I am keeping an eye on her. The e-vet is 5 minutes away. Hopefully I am just overreacting with my worry about this.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:16 PM
Location: Rural Western TN
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at this point i can tell you certainly, its NOT a venemous bite, she would have dislayed at least minimum pain reaction imediatly from a copperhead bite and right now wouldnt be trying to play with you.

snake bite reactions are pretty immediate.
and the swelling at a pit viper bite site would be noticable even on a fairly long haired breed. it would swell alot and be very brihgtly colored (or dark purple/black)
on a short haired dog if it was a copperhead bite even if she had black fur, you would see the swelling and upon closer inspection yes you would clearly see fang entry points, even a juvi copperheads fangs are large enough to leave a distinct pinhole, it would look like she was bitten by a tiny vampire.

my money is a bee or wasp, or possibly a none venemous snake (none venemous will leave a horseshoue shapes bite mark but it doesnt swell so youd be highly unlikley to see the mark under the fur.

i personally wouldnt be too worried.
Ive personally delt with animal AND human venemous snake bites,
it would be an immediate reaction and it wouldnt have gone away on its own.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:21 PM
Location: SE Michigan
6,192 posts, read 9,318,866 times
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I don't have any personal experience with snake bites, but after some quick googling, I'd agree that at this point if she is still acting normal and comfortable, she's fine.

Bee or wasp stings hurt briefly and startle a dog - one of mine will NOT learn and keeps going after them! She shrieks and fusses for a minute or two, then she's over it. Never has a reaction (swelling) but for future reference, Benadryl is a very good thing to keep on hand if you have a dog. It can literally be a life-saver if a dog goes into anaphylactic shock, you can mega-dose a dog on it without harm, generally. (I am not a vet so confirm this with your vet.)
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:29 PM
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Foxy, I keep trying to rep you, but apparently I did elsewhere in C-D recently because it won't let me do it again. I REALLY appreciate you sharing your first hand experiences.

And thanks everyone else as well for your helpful comments!
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:39 PM
Location: Rural Western TN
6,336 posts, read 11,977,099 times
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lol, oh no problem.
i LOVE snakes and they have such a bad rap so im very much a "try to educate" kind of person...
ive found when people have a better idea of what to look for there not quite as terrified about all snakes...
not to forget also that knowing exactly what to look for in those situations can indeed be a lifesaver.

ive been bitten myself, thankfully just a dry bite (all pit vipers can dry bite) but knowing exactly what to look for and how to react (because you dont know in that first split second if its dry or not) it what keeps you alive because panic actually helps spread the venom!
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