Especially for hunting dogs and those who spend a lot of time out in the wilderness with their humans, vaccinations against the lethality of rattlesnake bites are an important precaution. While we are no stranger to snakes here in Colorado, only three of the many native species pose a threat to us and our animals: Prairie rattlesnakes, Western rattlesnakes and massasauga rattlesnakes.
Because of the dangers that snake bites pose to dogs, Red Rock Biologics has developed a rattlesnake vaccine that generates protective antibodies, antivenin, that act against rattlesnake venom. Treatment begins with two immunizations, three to four weeks apart. Booster vaccines are given in early spring (March or April) and again in August to protect dogs while rattlesnakes are most active.
Symptoms of rattlesnake bites include severe pain, swelling and a puncture wound that may or may not be bleeding. If your dog is bit by a snake, immediate action should be taken regardless of if they have been vaccinated or not. If possible, carry your dog to your car to limit their activity and prevent the spread of venom through their body. Keep them as calm as possible and get them to your local vet as quickly as possible.
There is no exam needed to have your dog vaccinated at Powell Veterinary Service, and the cost of each vaccine is $30. While these shots do not completely prevent the effects of rattlesnake venom, they keep your dog from getting as ill, making treatment more successful, less painful and less expensive.
To learn more about the vaccine and schedule an appointment for your dog today, contact us online or by calling 970-352-9164.