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F-ing copperheads!

blueridge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
1,343
Location
Blue Ridge Mtns, VA
My girl got bit by a copperhead today. I was in the garage getting ready to push the boat out when I hear her yelp, see her jump back, then watch her high tail it out of sight. I thought it may have been yellow-jackets, until I walk closer and see a good sized one coiled up. I grab a shovel from the corner and by the time I come back it has crawled in a hole that goes back under the slab. I need vengeance, but I know that snake/rat hole probably bifurcates into a maze and there’s no way to dig it out. I pour some gas down it, let it sit a minute then light it. Poof! It blows dirt and a toad out, but no snake.

I go check on the dog. She is hiding under my truck, wide eyed and shook. I look her over good and can’t find any blood or bite holes. She would be licking where she got struck, and she’s not, just standing there dazed, so I think it may just have struck at her and scared her. I go back to hooking up the boat. I pull it around the driveway and see her on the porch, and it is instantly apparent where she got bit. The right side of her muzzle is swollen and she has a 6” strand of drool coming down. She is starting to pant so we take her to the emergency vet in case her airway gets constricted.

On the drive she is starting to really swell up, spreading down into her neck, so I put the hazards on and floor it. With the combination of hazards and flashing my lights everyone in the fast lane gets the idea and moves over for me … except this one a$$hole who wouldn’t get over no matter what I did. Right lane is full, just him in front of me going the same speed as the other, me honking my horn and flashing my lights and he just ignores me for the next 2 miles until the exit. 🤬 I am pissed, and when I get over and come up beside him I express my displeasure and he flicks me off. I don’t know what else I could do to let him know this was an emergency.

Anyway, get to the vet and they get the swelling under control, bloodwork to test clotting and coagulation time, pain meds, prescription for antibiotics, and not too much $$ later we’re headed home.

She’s drugged up, oozing rust colored blood, and still pretty swollen, but she should be okay.

F-ing copperheads.

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Did they give her any antivenom? For some reason doctors (veterinarians and ER docs both) don’t like to give antivenom for a copperhead bite. Antivenom will greatly decrease the recovery time.
 
Did they give her any antivenom? For some reason doctors (veterinarians and ER docs both) don’t like to give antivenom for a copperhead bite. Antivenom will greatly decrease the recovery time.
No, they didn’t give her antivenom. The vet said they would if she started experiencing kidney/liver issues.
 
No, they didn’t give her antivenom. The vet said they would if she started experiencing kidney/liver issues.
Watch her close. If the swelling is not going down insist on antivenom. Don’t wait on liver/kidney issues.

Copperheads are pit vipers. Pit vipers have hemotoxic venom. That means it starts breaking down cells and muscle tissue at the location of the bite. Giving a dose of antivenom may not be necessary for survival but it will help greatly with recovery over the long term.
 
Our girls get tagged by copperheads pretty often, despite aversion training. It’s usually muzzle swelling that drops to the neck and chest the next day.

We load them up with Benadryl and watch them closely. Most copperhead bites are dry bites; dogs aren’t prey, they’re a nuisance, and copperheads don’t like to waste venom.

Copperhead bites are fairly benign compared to rattlesnake and water moccasin bites. Those assholes do a number with necrosis and higher mortality rates.

Hope she’s back to normal in a day or two and learns from it.
 
I worry about those darn things also. A neighbor just killed a big one in his driveway a few weeks ago. Hope the pup recovers quickly.
 
When i was in Tennessee I was told that killing copperheads was illegal, I was also told it still happens lol. Glad yer in a place that allows them to be killed. If it were my dog it would still die. Just three "S" the son of gun
 
When i was in Tennessee I was told that killing copperheads was illegal, I was also told it still happens lol. Glad yer in a place that allows them to be killed. If it were my dog it would still die. Just three "S" the son of gun
I mean, it’s pretty much illegal everywhere, but it still is acceptable and nobody prosecutes it.
 
I think my lab got tagged on the ear a few weeks back. His ear swelled up really bad for about 6 days. It could have been yellow jackets. I'm not 100% sure.
 
Stupid snakes... Shooting a wolf is illegal here in MN, but if there's a wolf threatening or attacking your livestock or dogs you can shoot it. I can't imagine snakes would be any different.

Or just SSS!
 
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