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Ideas on how to deal with snake bites and dogs on the trail?

What do you keep in your back pack in case your dog gets bit by a rattlesnake? When you are 3 miles from a road with a 75 pound dog...would be helpful to know what to have in your pack to mitigate death before you can get to a vet.

1 Reply

Unfortunately there isn't anything that works. Keep your dogs on a short leash, keep an eye and ear out for snakes, don't let your dogs explore holes and keep away from bushes they are very curious about. None of those snake bite kits sold for people or animals are worth... well they aren't worth anything at all. They don't remove venom especially since it only takes seconds for it to travel through the body if it gets in a vein, and maybe a minute or two if in the muscle. The same as an IV or IM injection. The people who claim they work almost certainly had "dry" bites. That is bites where the snake didn't inject any or much venom.

You're best bet is to pick up the dog and carry him out while keeping him as calm as possible. Or slowly walk back and hope it's a dry bit.

Anti-venom is best administered within 6 hours. However if signs and symptoms start soon after the bite... it will be bad. You'd probably need some O2 therapy and rapid transport to a vet who has the correct anti-venom for that specific species of snake.

If you have a lot of money you could carry anti-venom for the snakes in your area, but I don't know if they have a very long shelf life and under what conditions they must be stored (cool? cool? how stable?).