My beagle, Dixie, was never planned. But my 9-year-old kept begging for a dog, and after 6 chickens and 3 cats, I finally was stupid enough, I thought, to get a dog from the pound. When she met the chickens, she got a bit too eager and one pecked her on the nose, and after that she decided her job was to protect (instead of eat) these animals. She has kept them alive when a raccoon kept trying to get in. She's saved their lives countless times because she takes guard-dogging very seriously. But this afternoon, she was barking up a storm and we found a copperhead snake that had gotten in and taken some eggs. My neighbor came over with a shovel and killed the snake. But about 5 minutes later, Dixie was walking funny, with her head turned sideways and looking pretty miserable. It dawned on me that she had probably gotten too close to the snake and gotten bitten. So we rushed her to the all-hours vet (my kids sobbing all the way because she was yelping and shaking constantly), and this idiot doctor insisted that since she couldn't find a bite mark, Dixie must be suffering from a slipped disk. She pooh-poohed the idea of a snake bite and grudgingly said that if we were still convinced, she would keep her overnight...for $1200 (yes, that's twelve hundred dollars for one night's stay!!) I have no way of paying that kind of money, so we took her home. Well, her neck is swollen from ear to ear and one eye is swelled shut. This is no slipped disk. She is totally miserable but threw up the pain pills we gave her. We did manage to get a benadryl down her. But according to what I have read on line, copperheads shouldn't be fatal. But I feel so bad that she was hurt trying to protect my chickens. We tried letting her go out to pee and she went immediately to the area where the snake had been and stood still, like she knew she was supposed to be guarding, but was so groggy and miserable she couldn't remember what to do. It really broke my heart. Does anyone have experience with copperheads?! I had no idea we had ANY poisonous snakes around here. I got rid of a 6-foot black snake last summer, but I've never seen a copperhead before. I know this is a doggy question rather than a chicken one, but does anyone know what I can do for my poor doggie?!?