Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dog Days

The dog has not had a good week. Friday night she got sprayed by a skunk. Lovely.

Yesterday she got bitten by a snake. Twice evidently as there are four fang holes dripping blackish bloody fluid. I bet she didn't realize what had happened the first time and went back in on the snake again. It had to be either a copperhead or a rattler as those are the only poisonous snakes around here. It must have been a big snake judging from the distance between the fang holes.

Dogs have probably always nosed their way in to snakes, so they should be pretty evolutionarily equipped to deal with it (cats too, but they usually get bit on their paws). It causes swelling first usually, and that's actually how we knew she'd been bit -- her whole muzzle swollen. I took off her collar in case the swelling got really bad. A snake bite can cause ataxia but I've never seen it. The main thing is to just keep an animal (including yourself) from dying of shock. So we petted her and talked to her. Bless her heart -- it must be confusing to be hurting that badly and not understand it.

It is basically an allergic kind of reaction and you can treat it, evidently, with benedryl. But we didn't. Another common treatment is a prophylactic dose of amoxicillin to ward off possible infection from the dirty snake teeth. We didn't do that either -- mostly because I think it would have stressed her out, and because dogs are pretty good at handling infections on their own. Because the poison causes the flesh to die, I'll expect her to have a bad looking nose for quite a while (the dead tissue will slough off). And of course we'll watch for infection.

At least the swelling has begun to go down already.


Mushy said...

Well bless her heart - as you said!

El said...

That poor pup! Give her lots of loving. Benadryl is a great thing, isn't it? One of the few meds we always have on hand.

Karen said...

Poor love our dogs have got less sense than the chickens. They're always rushing into trouble

Fathairybastard said...

Yep, thank God for most modern meds. You sound like you know what you're doin'. Poor baby. Give her a hug and neck rub for me.