Poultry Guardian Taken Out By Copperhead


Crossing the Road
14 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have been using German Pointers for quite a while as poultry guardians and they do it well. Lately they have been busting their tails at night going after predators more interested in persimmons than chickens which keeps dogs busy all night. Both dogs have a penchant for killing and eating snakes where most are caught after dark. Last night after midnight Lucy (female) got a copperhead and got bit with venom transfer in the process. She has a swollen head, drools and is lethargic so she feels like crap. Now for part of the real expense of keeping dogs for guarding stock; the vet bill. We used to have coon hounds get popped once in a while and never lost any but down time is long sometimes longer than a week. I will open wallet to shorten that down time so we can get Lucy back out there. Hopefully the interest in snakes will also decline. Killing snakes does not benefit poultry keeping here.
Sorry that this happened. My experience with snake bitten dogs is, 'once bitten, twice smart'. I have known two beagles that were bitten by copperheads - both in the head. The first dog was bitten at a field trial -moderate swelling/pain/discomfort - fairly rapid recovery, but he would never run at a field trial after that. The second dog got nailed with a larger dose of venom and actually sloughed the skin from the area of her jawbone down her leg to the elbow. She became very reptile smart and would leave the line in a looping circle if there was a turtle or snake between point a and point b. Good luck with Lucy.
Looks like she got bitten in the lower left jowl. She is very tender there. Despite this she wants to hang outside with family but we are following vet instructions to keep her cool and quite. She will be spending next few days sleeping on cool bathroom tiles. Swelling was initially on left side mostly but now she is pretty even and looks like Jobba the Hut from Star Wars.



She went out with Scoob for a bit and actually consumed some food when she came back in. Her stamina is way down. Tonight I will have to get up a lot to follow Scoob because he expects company when going after visitors. Lucy will be confined.
Still not ranging after dark with Scoob but did do out with me. I think her sniffer is offline. Appetite better and swelling starting to come down. Scoob is major impacted as he has now one to interact with while patrolling. He spent more time back on porch near where Lucy slept most of night. It is not just a 2 + 2 when it comes to how dogs do their job.
As of this evening the swelling is greatly reduced and now less than shown pictures. She does seem to itch around bite which will be watched. Lucy went out and patrolled on her own a bit and even went out with Scoob for about an hour. I think her breathing is still a little constrained by the swelling in throat but even that is going down. The skin is getting baggy flops about like a dewlap as she trots. Her poop smells terrible.

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