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Snakebit Dog, He's OK. Benadryl Worked? Snake Pic WARNING Copperhead!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ranchhand, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Late Friday night I took my 70 lb. hound mix, Tiger, out for his evening ritual in our large fenced in backyard. He wandered off into a large grove of anise trees as usual.

    Next thing I know he is running madly across the yard screaming and pawing at his face. I finally got him inside, but he fought every time I tried to examine the right side of his face, which was swelling rapidly. He was also showing signs of breathing difficulty, wheezing and rasping rapidly.

    The nearest vet emergency clinic is 40 miles away or so, and Friday night traffic makes it a good 90 minute drive, so that wasn't really an option. I got DH out of bed, with that "NOW, DEAR" voice [​IMG] and we tried to check his face, but he struggled madly. DH managed to get a generic Benadryl pill into him while I held him down.

    We knew the options were bee/wasp sting or snakebite. I wiped Tiger's face with a paper towel and no blood showed up, so we assumed bee or wasp sting. He was having a lot of trouble breathing, so I spent the night with him in the "doggie den", which is the pantry off the kitchen. He made it through the night in better shape than I did. (Fifty three year old women should not be sleeping on floors.) [​IMG]

    Saturday morning, his face was very swollen and he had a large fluid filled pouch under his neck. He was very unhappy, but managed to eat some peanut butter with another antihistamine pill inside. I continued the pills every 4 hours, even all night. [​IMG] Late Saturday night he slept on the couch, and since he was so cute with an ear shading his eye, I took a pic.

    Uploaded the pic this morning, and discovered 2 BITE MARKS! Right next to his nose! Yikes!

    [​IMG]

    A week or so ago, someone on BYC said something about giving Benadryl after a snakebite- I don't remember who you are but THANK YOU! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The swelling/edema is much reduced today, and he's eating. [​IMG]

    Hope this can help someone else. Best guess is a 2 foot rattlesnake, since we have had one in the fenced area before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  2. Pupsnpullets

    Pupsnpullets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poor pooch!! I've never heard of benedryl for snake bites but I'll be remembering it now. I live in snake country with a blind dog. Will he let you put warm compresses on it? That may help, too.
     
  3. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:Your very welcome [​IMG]

    Oh if it looks like there is infection you may need to follow with a injection of penicillin. Your feed store should have it, and they may have the directions for dogs too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Hi Barb, he stuck his head under a short table & wouldn't come out, so I let him be that night. I had ears tuned for breathing distress, but never did figure out what I would do if his throat had actually closed up. I am going to ask my vet about an Epi-pen for these situations.

    I've worked in vet clinics- maybe an emergency tracheotomy? Or start digging a big hole outside. I am so relieved it didn't come to either.
     
  5. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poisonous snake bites can grow and cause a whole lot more problems later.
    Can you at least call a vet and get his opinion? Your dog could lose part of his face, if it becomes necrotic. Please call or take him to the vet.
    Good luck to you and your friend! He's soooooo adorable.
     
  6. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Ohh also DO NOT try to use benadryl for human snake bites it will not work the same for us. In case of yourself seek immediate medical attention.
     
  7. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Benadryl definitely helps with some of the swelling. Just keep an eye out for other complications though, like peeing blood or bleeding from other places. Rattlesnake bites can cause DIC, which is a fatal condition and it can take a couple days to show up. You definitely need to take him to the vet if you see anything like that. Hope he's ok!
     
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Watching for necrosis, and he sees Dr. Tom first thing tomorrow morning.

    WalkingWolf, you are so thanked for your advice. It was somewhere in a post and it stuck about the Benadryl. Your post most likely saved this dog's life!

    Glad you were here to see the results, Tiger, DH and I all send our warmest thanks to you. And we shall heed the advice about it not working on humans.
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:He has adorable down pat. Here is is just last week, before the bite.

    [​IMG]

    He's a rescue, from a filthy ditch, at about 6 weeks. His brother came down with Parvo, survived, and now lives in Japan. They are about 2 years old now.
     
  10. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL! Sooooo cute!

    I think benadryl (especially liquid) is good to keep around for lots of reactions, for immediate use, if you can't get to a vet/doctor soon enough.
    Do they make epi pens for animals? A human dose might kill them.
    Not to be a downer, but I know a woman in Arkansas whose son was bit by a copperhead. The local ER said nothing to do, go home. He's lucky to not have lost his hand and he developed some very strange neuro/GI problems later. She was too nice to bring a law suit to that ER.
    I just don't want anything bad to happy to your adorable little friend!
    But it sounds like you're on top of it. Please keep us posted!
     

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