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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently, making plans to put Zio through snake avoidance training has again tempted the Powers That Be because a pygmy rattler got him this morning. This is the 2nd time in about 9 months! :frown:

We have run across larger snakes, including a 5 1/2' eastern diamondback in a nearby park. These he has successfully avoided. However for some reason he didn't sense/avoid the dusky pygmy that nailed him in the nose this morning.

He's responding well to the antivenin, etc at Florida Veterinary Services & should be home sometime tomorrow.

<sigh>


 

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Today is the day for crap to happen! Hope Zio will be doing better in the morning, and start sensing those darn snakes. OUCH!
 

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Sending healing thoughts your way. We ran into a rattler a few weeks ago and it was scary beyond belief, glad the dogs were off pestering something else!
 

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Scary! Glad things seem to be going ok, though. Man! Florida. You gotta take the bad with the good, I guess.

I'm not totally clear on anti-venom stuff, but would Zio have built up some anti-bodies from the last time he was bitten? Is there a bright side to all this!?!?!
 

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Gosh, thats horrible, I hope Zio is feeling and lot better by now.
Do you live out in the country? I take my dog out to this huge wildlife reserve near 75 quite often and tramp round by the lakes in the undergrowth and haven't met a snake (yet). I come from a country without snakes, so tend to forget to be worried about them.
You obviously saw the snake and identified the type so the vet could administer the correct anti-venom right? What happens if you or your dog gets bitten and have no idea what type of snake it is?
I've trodden on 3 snakes so far, just walking the dog up the road in the dark, have absolutely no idea what type they were but obviously very unaggressive or non-biters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Scary! Glad things seem to be going ok, though. Man! Florida. You gotta take the bad with the good, I guess.

I'm not totally clear on anti-venom stuff, but would Zio have built up some anti-bodies from the last time he was bitten? Is there a bright side to all this!?!?!
Unfortunately, I can't see a bright side to this other than the fact that I knew what to look for when he got bit & immediately knew what to do when it happened. As I mentioned in my previous thread on this subject, it's imperative that people who live in places with venomous snakes have an emergency plan if their pet gets bitten. Not every vet carries antivenin because it's expensive and has a limited shelf life. You need to find who carries it so you can make the appropriate plans.

As for building up immunity to snake venom, there doesn't seem to be a clean consensus on the subject. The vet we talked to yesterday when we brought Zio in said that it doesn't work that way because of the type of venom, which essentially attacks the blood.


 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gosh, thats horrible, I hope Zio is feeling and lot better by now.
Do you live out in the country? I take my dog out to this huge wildlife reserve near 75 quite often and tramp round by the lakes in the undergrowth and haven't met a snake (yet). I come from a country without snakes, so tend to forget to be worried about them.
You obviously saw the snake and identified the type so the vet could administer the correct anti-venom right? What happens if you or your dog gets bitten and have no idea what type of snake it is?
I've trodden on 3 snakes so far, just walking the dog up the road in the dark, have absolutely no idea what type they were but obviously very unaggressive or non-biters.
No, we don't live in the country. We live in New Tampa and run the dog in conservation areas simply because that's the only way he can get the room to run. Is the area you're talking about at 75 & Fowler? We run Zio there as well as an area near Morris Bridge Rd & Cross Creek. But we stopped taking him to that latter one because of the number of pygmys we saw one morning. :frown:

I suspect we will have to do a couple of things:

- Only let him run during the heat of the day when the snakes will not be out. This means a fore-shortened run time & lots of water on hand for him afterward.
- Only run him in wide open areas: pygmies like wooded areas with lots of tree debris to hide near/under. He stays clear of larger snakes (we've seen him do this at least 3 times in the last couple of weeks).

Coincidentally, we are originally from Ontario in Canada; also a place without many dangerous snakes. There is only one poisonous snake there, the Eastern Massasauga Rattler. They are not that common, but are known to be in some isolated areas like near Lake Huron. But we knew living down here in FL there were things we had to learn about including gators & poisonous snakes! :wink:

I found this site helpful: FLMNH - Herpetology Checklist of Florida Amphibians and Reptiles

As for the antivenin, apparently what they have will cover any of the venomous snakes down here.
 

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Thanks for the info and the link. I had never given much thought about snake bites whatsoever, gator bites, well, yes, but now I will take your advice and check which local vets carry anti-venom.
We go out to Babcock Ranch, just east of exit 158, its 10 mins from home. Its all mainly trees with dense undergrowth around lakes, big gators, not the ideal, unfortunately.
As a side note, have you ever gone to the dog beach in Venice?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info and the link. I had never given much thought about snake bites whatsoever, gator bites, well, yes, but now I will take your advice and check which local vets carry anti-venom.
We go out to Babcock Ranch, just east of exit 158, its 10 mins from home. Its all mainly trees with dense undergrowth around lakes, big gators, not the ideal, unfortunately.
As a side note, have you ever gone to the dog beach in Venice?

No, we've not done the dog beach in Venice. I think there's one in St. Pete's or Clearwater. Guess we really should take him there one of these days, cuz he swims like a fish! :D


 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm happy to report that we brought Zio home this morning. The folks at Florida Veterinary Services took good care of him, but he was obviously very happy to see us.

I have to admit I was almost in tears when I saw how swollen his face is... he looks more like a cross between a GSP and a Bloodhound (or a St. Bernard) than our Zio.

He's on pain meds every 8-12 hrs, plus we are giving him 50 mg of benedryl to help bring the swelling down faster. The vet also suggested trying cold compresses but how many dogs will allow that? Not Zio! <lol> We've booked a follow-up appt with his own vet for Sat morning.

We had warned FVS that he would probably not eat anything while he was there and as expected, he didn't touch a morsel. However, his GI is obviously very upset, so we're giving him home made chicken & rice to help his system get back on track. I'll probably give him some yogurt as well.

Thanks for all the "get well soons"; here's hoping that he continues to improve to make a speedy & full recovery. :smile:




 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Follow-up.

Zio had a good follow-up with his Vet yesterday after his "Close Encounter of the Worst Kind". The swelling in his face & nose is almost gone, but he still has a bit of a "goiter" in his neck as the last of the edema drains down.

We took him off the pain meds yesterday, but have still been giving him 50 mg of benedryl twice daily to help with the swelling. His GI seems back to normal too. <whew>

Many thanks to everyone for all their kind wishes for our "Zio Puppy's" speedy & complete recovery.:biggrin:


 

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Discussion Starter #12
We had Zio back at Snake Avoidance training Sunday morning. The Vet who runs the clinic remembered us from last year, kindly inquiring as to how Zio's health is post-strike. We were happy to report that other than the sections of fur that are still growing in from where he was shaved for sensors or IVs, he looks & seems just fine.

The very first snake out was a 1' pygmy. Zio didn't go within 5 feet of it. AAMOF he jumped away so quickly & forcefully that we though that the Vet had zapped him with the collar. But no, he did it all on his own!

Meanwhile, he wouldn't anywhere near the two Diamondbacks. The six footer's rattle could be heard across the yard.

Pearce tried to steer him near the pygmy again, but Zio would have none of it, scurrying to the end of the rope to hide behind a spectator.

So it seems that Zio has retrained his snake avoidance training just fine from last year. The fact that he got hit earlier this month was simply a matter of bad luck: he happened upon a pygmy that was so well hidden he simply couldn't sense it.

Nevertheless, we WILL be back again to do a refresher!
 

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Good to hear! I don't blame him from avoiding those buggers so strongly! Glad to hear he's back to normal!
 
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