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Author Topic: Rattlesnake vaccine  (Read 14784 times)

mamestra

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Rattlesnake vaccine
« on: November 14, 2007, 11:27:01 PM »
I've just heard about a rattlesnake vaccine for dogs. We are just about to start a four month trip to rattlesnake country (deserts of Arizona Mexico and California). Have any of you used this vaccine and what does it cost? We have a large German Shepherd, he's seldom off lead, but some of these places we are going he could still be in danger. (We've heard of sidewinders under 5 er's) So I would love to get some more information about this vaccine.
Thanks
Michael

Jim Dick

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 11:50:57 PM »
Hi Michael,

I have not heard of the rattlesnake vaccine but just wanted to say we have made about 5 trips west to Arizona in the winter. In all that time we have seen two rattlesnakes. I don't mean to say there is nothing to be concerned about but rattlesnakes don't seem to be around much in the winter. Keep in mind, also, they don't like us anymore than we like them!

Since dogs do have an uncanny way of finding things we never do I certainly would keep a close eye on your pet.
Jim

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Tom

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 12:18:19 AM »
Your best bet is to contact your veterinarian. A couple of items for reading:

Red Rock Biologics manufacturer of rattlesnake vaccine for dogs.

Hurricane Valley Journal article - refers to Red Rock Biologics.

UC Davis information on canine vaccines. Scroll down to rattlesnake vaccine.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 12:21:42 AM by Tom »
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Carl L

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 12:21:52 AM »
I've just heard about a rattlesnake vaccine for dogs. We are just about to start a four month trip to rattlesnake country (deserts of Arizona Mexico and California). Have any of you used this vaccine and what does it cost? We have a large German Shepherd, he's seldom off lead, but some of these places we are going he could still be in danger. (We've heard of sidewinders under 5 er's) So I would love to get some more information about this vaccine.
Thanks
Michael

For detailled information click HERE.   Note that the Mojave rattler has a radically different venom which requires a unique antivenom .. and vaccine.

Do not let your critter wander off leash -- period.   The deserts have cotton ants (wingless wasps), black widow spiders, coral snakes, gila monsters, scorpions, skunks, and miles and miles of cholla cactus.    Use a cable leash around campgrounds and a short lead in raw land.  Better yet, stay out of raw land with a dog unless the dog is shod and you have good voice control.

 
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Dave Stringham

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 09:05:04 AM »
Carl point out what I was going to say.......The Mojave Green rattlesnake takes a different anti venom.....he is very territorial and doesnt wander out of his area ......He is very agressive and doesnt just curl up and hope you go away, we have seen them chase vechicles as we drive by them on the road here at work.......I KNOW they are in the Mojave California area and the back side of Tehachapi........
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Litoralis

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 11:37:09 AM »
I had my dog vaccinated with the RedRock about a month ago, prior to snowbirding to Needles, Ca.

First visit was $30 for a required health exam, plus $15 for the first shot. Second shot in three weeks was just another $15. Dosage based on weight of dog. Mine is 40lbs.

Booster required once a year, for $15.

Offers some protection for all rattlers EXCEPT the Mojave Green, a particularly nasty critter with a neurological venom. Fortunately, native to only the Mojave desert, elevation from 2000-4000'. Was a major concern for me, as Needles is in the Mojave valley, but local vets assured me the devil is extremely rare in my particular area.

IMHO, well worth the price. Anything we can do....right?

Wendy

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2007, 12:24:40 PM »
UC Davis information on canine vaccines. Scroll down to rattlesnake vaccine.

We lived in Death Valley for 4 years and have visited often in the winter since leaving the park service. When we lived here, we saw two rattlesnakes in the housing area....that's 2 snakes in 4 years. Other than around the watercourse at Scotty's Castle, nowhere else in all our desert travels have we seen any venemous snakes. I keep a close watch on Sam in the desert and make sure he doesn't stick his nose in any holes or under bushes. I doubt that I ever would have considered having him vaccinated against snake bite. And after reading what the UC Davis website says, I definitely would NOT have him vaccinated.
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mamestra

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2007, 08:02:32 PM »
Thank you for all of the information. The main reason I was concerned is that the place where we will spend a month is Mexico apparently has a lot of sidewinders. Exposure to snakes seems to be luck-of-the-draw, I grew up in rattlesnake country, spent years hiking ran into a snake only once.
Years later when I started working as an entomologist, had three up and close encounters within two months. As I mentioned our dog is seldom off a lead, but we do dog tracking with our dog, he loves following a scent, we'll be careful, but accidents can happen. After reading the articles I'm no longer sure leaning towards not having it done. I would like to make an informed decision, so thanks again for the information.
Michael

Carl L

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2007, 09:54:38 PM »
OK, it's your dog.   However, do get the dog boots for wandering the desert floor.  Cabela's online store has a nice selection.   Also be sure the pooch is well drilled in recall commands and back off commands.
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azgolfin

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Rattlesnakes
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 02:06:05 PM »
Rattlers from Texas doing a mating ritual.

Then rattlers from a nest just outside of Oracle, AZ
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 02:22:18 PM by azgolfin »

Luca1369

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 03:19:21 PM »
Great photos!  The critters look sort of charming in their mating ritual...in a weird, dangerous sort of way.

Steve
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Marsha/CA

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2008, 03:31:14 PM »
We live in the southern sierras and we had our dog vaccinated with the rattlesnake vaccine.  Yes, I know there are contraindications, but I'm willing to take that chance.  I have to make these same decisions with my horses.  Most any vaccine has a risk when given.  My son is involved with over 50 vet clinics in Southern California; and they are all recommending that the dogs be vaccinated.  As noted in a prior message, it's a 2 stage process for the first year, after that a yearly booster.  You will still have to take the dog in for vet care if bitten, but it will be much less costly and less tramatic on the dog; survival rate is very high.  A dog that is bitten and does not have the vaccine can costs between $1500 to $3,000 for medical care.  We had a small doxie dog bitten many years ago by a young rattler and that cost us close to $2,000 at that time, and he almost didn't make it.

There also is a second option available.  You can have your dog "snake" trained via snake avoidance techniques.  It's offered in some areas by dog trainers.  If you would like to go that route, contact a local vet or a training facility and see they have any information.  This training will keep the dog from any snake, not just the rattler.  It's a one time thing, so it could be done when you get to the Southwest.

BTW, the green mojave's venom is fast acting and most animals, including humans, will generally die from it before reaching help.
Also be aware that besides encountering the sidewinders, you can also stumble onto what we call out here "Mexican Reds".  They are very aggressive and are larger than sidewinders or diamondbacks.  Their heads are large and they are distinctivly "red" color.

I have horses and I have cantered (galloped) over a couple by mistake (I thought they were branches) and by the time they realize I've jumped across them, the horse and I are down the trail.....  But I did know of a horse that was bitten in the chest.  It took months to recover and the flesh around the bite died and never grew back properly.  All the horse was doing was grazing and came across the snake.  The biggest fear with horses is that they get bitten in the nose then the nose swells causing difficult breathing.  When Tim and I were horse packing in the wilderness, I carried short pieces of PVC pipe, so that if the horse got bitten in the nose, I could insert the PVC pipe to keep the air passage open.

Probably more than any body needed to know... ;D

Marsha~

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Marsha/CA

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2008, 03:34:55 PM »
AZgolfin,

You realize you have caused every hair on my head and arms to raise up, don't you.  Great pictures....but I HATE snakes!  I'm probably gonna dream tonight.

Marsha~
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dhamblet

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2008, 03:54:53 PM »
We spent Feb and March in Kino Bay Mexico at the WHR park 2 yrs ago.  I went out on my quad looking for snakes many times  but never saw any.  Saw lots of track but not a snake.  I don't think they generally are out in the heat of the day, more like back under the brush.  Then at night they come out onto the roads etc to warm themselves.  So generally if you use common sense and watch where you are walking or putting you hands you'll not have a problem.  As for the dogs I kept them on a short leash for the most part and watched where we walked.
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azgolfin

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2008, 08:51:25 PM »
AZgolfin,

You realize you have caused every hair on my head and arms to raise up, don't you.  Great pictures....but I HATE snakes!  I'm probably gonna dream tonight.

Marsha~

Marsha

Like you think I have a great fondness for them?  I normally keep a snake charmer (410) or snake shot (45) with me.  But I have a Blue Heeler pup I'm training and he's got to put his nose into everything.  So besides training, shots will be a must.

Rick

PS  I guess you don't want me posting my alligator, cobra, or boa photos then?  I do have a picture of a camel spider that jumps?

Marsha/CA

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2008, 09:01:59 PM »
Now the camel spider I'd like to see, I'll skip over the other photos.  I'm not bothered by spiders.....but snakes are a whole nuther matter.   I have literally climbed up my husband when we stumbled on to a green kinda of snake years ago.  I thought he was gonna fall over laughing; which I didn't think was too funny at the time.

Did you take those pictures yourself?

I know what you mean with a pup.  We have an 8 month old that sticks his nose into and under everything.

Marsha~
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azgolfin

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2008, 02:11:27 AM »
Ok, I must admit I didn't take those pictures because I didn't have my super dooper telefoto lense.  But check this out.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f06_1216390662

broncobilly

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 02:06:14 PM »
I have never heard of a vaccine for dogs but i know 1st hand about the vaccine for us upright walkers, our son was bitten at age 6 by a 12" baby rattler, the worst kind, they do not control their venom like adults do. Anyway, at that time he was given over 5 doses of anti venom at over 3k per dose, it worked , its expensive, it was scarry and they sure can do some damage!!   

DonTom

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Re: Rattlesnake vaccine
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2010, 12:07:04 AM »
Fortunately, native to only the Mojave desert, elevation from 2000-4000'. Was a major concern for me, as Needles is in the Mojave valley, but local vets assured me the devil is extremely rare in my particular area.

The Mojave Green Rattlesnake (Crotalus Scutulatus Scuntulatus)  is found from sea level to around 8,300 feet and its range includes parts of Texas, NM, AZ, NV,  and CA and most of Mexico and even extreme SW UT. But like most rattlesnakes, it prefers warm dark nights so you don't see it often. But it is NOT rare and is very dangerous, and can be aggressive on a warm night.

See the range map here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_scutulatus

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