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Have you had run-ins with poisonous snakes, spiders, crocodiles and etc.

 
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I have never had a personal encounter with any poisonous snake, but last summer my dog did.

I was outside across the road talking with my neighbor when I saw my dog poke her head out from tall grasses around my home.  My dog was a born-to-run type and we just let her run around the countryside.  But on this day instead of dashing over to my side as she normally would, she walked slowly to the shade of a tree and laid down (it was a hot day).

This was strange behavior for her and it only got worse.  I called for her to come but she stayed put.  As I walked over to her she looked up at me but made no attempt to move.  When I got to her I was concerned and found that she was favoring one of her front paws.  I tried feeling the paw to see what was wrong.  I suspected that she may have had a run-in with a car.  I could find no obviously broken bones, but that paw was rapidly swelling.  I called my wife to bring the car and take her to the vet as the dog was obviously getting worse.

Three hours later and my wife and dog came home where she was diagnosed with a hornet bite.  She was given a dose of steroids to help the swelling and sent home.  The vet tech told us that the paw should have reduced its its swelling by this point and if it did not improve in two hours bring her back in.

At home the dog was obviously uncomfortable, breathing rapidly and instead of the swelling going down, the afflicted paw was now twice the size of the other.  At home I tried to gently feel the swollen paw, and when I felt the back of her leg I felt some fluid running.  I took a look at my hand and it was covered in a thin, black fluid.  Necrotic blood as it turns out.

I immediately rushed her back to the vet and this time they shaved the leg and then it was plainly obvious that she had been bit by a snake—twice, with four obvious fang marks.  The time the vet kept the dog overnight and treated her with more steroids and IV fluids.  I left really thinking my dog was about to die.  The vet told me that they regularly get snake-bit dogs and that they had never lost one, but my dog looked bad.

The next day the vet called back and told me that the dog had recovered very well over night and could come home.  My dog was still a bit sick, but recovered over the course of the week.

We suspect that she was bit by a copperhead, and if you have to get bit by a venomous snake, a copperhead is your best bet.  We assume the our dog found the snake and tried to play with it.  She likely did not know or care she was bit the first time so she kept swatting her paws at the snake and got bit a second time at which point she had had enough and left the snake alone.

By now she has almost completely recovered, but she has a bald streak on her paw/leg between the bites.  Aside from that she is no worse off for wear.  In the end, it was a scary experience, but she is now just fine.

Eric
 
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Eric Hanson wrote: By now she has almost completely recovered, but she has a bald streak on her paw/leg between the bites.  Aside from that she is no worse off for wear.  In the end, it was a scary experience, but she is now just fine.

Eric



Wow, Eric.  Glad that your pooch is ok.  Dogs do have a crazy curiousity.  When we lived in the desert I always worried about the dogs and rattle snakes.
 
Scott Foster
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

We will make every attempt to keep spiders and snakes out of the house, but I think we must coexist with them the minute we walk out the door.



Dale, you will definitely be dealing with critters.  I spent some time in th PI when I was in the service.  I was staying out in town and I remember waking up on a couch and moving to the outhouse with 1ft of water on the floor.  It was monsoon season.  That was a wild experience.
 
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Some quick things I remember while studying echinacea for venomous bites.

Echinacea denatures venom....it literally breaks down the protein structure of venom and hence destroys the venom.

Echinacea has hyaluronic acid, which holds the cells together instead of allowing them to melt away from necrosis.

Echinacea will actually reverse the damage if the cell still has integrity.
 
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