If you’ve spend a lot of time in the Southwest, chances are you’ve encountered rattlesnakes at some point, or know someone who has. Rattlesnakes are one of the most serious threats to dogs in this part of the country. Their bites are just as fatal to Fido as they are to us. In fact, dogs are about 25 times more likely to die from rattlesnake bites than humans are! Fortunately, there is now a rattlesnake vaccination available for dogs. In this article, a local Las Vegas, NV vet discusses some basics of rattlesnake vaccinations for dogs.
As you’ve probably noticed, dogs have a knack for getting into mischief. Part of this is due to their natural urge to explore and investigate things. That sense of adventure can easily lead Fido into conflict with a deadly snake. Dogs can also accidentally step on or startle snakes.
Rattlesnake vaccines work more or less the same as other vaccines do. They help Fido develop antibodies to fight snake venom. If your dog is ever bitten, these antibodies will help his body fight the poison. It will also reduce his pain and increase his chance of survival. It’s worth noting that the vaccine does not protect against all types of poisonous snakes, however. Ask your vet for more information.
Rattlesnake vaccinations can be given to puppies at about 4 months old. In order for the rattlesnake vaccination to work properly, you’ll need to keep up with recommended booster shots. This will help your dog gradually build up more and more antibodies to the venom. Ask your vet to recommend a vaccination schedule.
The vaccination does not make dogs completely immune to snake bites. If you know or suspect that Fido has been bitten, treat it like an emergency and take him to the vet right away.
As the saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to keep your dog safe from snakes is to avoid taking him to areas where they could be. Also, don’t let your pooch sniff around things that could be harboring snakes, like woodpiles. Last but not least, if you hear a rattle, stop, spot the snake, and slowly backtrack away.
For more information on rattlesnake vaccinations, contact us, your Las Vegas, NV vet clinic, today! We’re here to help!