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Discussion Starter #1
Just out of curiosity, how many of you hunt Eastern and Midwestern States and Snake Proof your dogs? And, do you get them vaccinated for snake bite? I know how curious my pup is about EVERY new smell and I'm sure she'd follow her nose right into trouble. I know in the East and some of the Midwest you have the Copperhead, Water Moccasins, and a couple different kind of Rattlesnakes. Here in Michigan we have just the one smallish Rattler. However its venom is quite potent and can be dangerous to dogs and small children. SO, do you take steps to prevent against a bite or do you just take the chance it wont happen? FRANK
 

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I don't do anything preventive but I am curious.My old dog Jack was nailed up in hubbard lake.He pointed and when I walked up I heard the rattlesnake.It nailed him in the snout.
 

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You really can't snake proof without the snakes.
I hunt western states and have not snake proofed any dogs.
I do get the rattlesnake vaccine.

The debate has not been settled as the the effectiveness of the vaccine. Note that the vaccine was developed for the western rattle snakes, most folks agree that it will not help on the eastern species of rattle snakes, copperheads or cottonmouths.
 

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My dog and i ran into one in the pine river valley while fly fishing this summer. His hair stood up along his spine and he froze. He never lunged, i grabbed his collar and yanked him outta there. Lucky it was a cool day!
I dont think i ever would snake proof him living here in MI. There arent many rattlers around, and during hunting season especially its normally too cool for them to be very active.
 

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My dog and i ran into one in the pine river valley while fly fishing this summer. His hair stood up along his spine and he froze. He never lunged, i grabbed his collar and yanked him outta there. Lucky it was a cool day!
I dont think i ever would snake proof him living here in MI. There arent many rattlers around, and during hunting season especially its normally too cool for them to be very active.
That was my thoughts in the fall they are not active. Until October 7 when it happened to jack.It was a warm day and the snake was in the pines.I talked to a biologist who explained it to me.They are cold blooded but the warmer they get the more aggressive they are so if they can sun themselves and warm up the blood it can be a problem at times of the year you would think not.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Warm sunny days will bring them out and the warmer they are the more active/aggressive they are. I just read an article about the population of Timber Rattlers in Minnesota. Protecting our family member/hunting partners should always be on our minds. BTW, snake proofing does not require the use of poisonous snakes. FRANK
 

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snake proofing does not require the use of poisonous snakes.
No but it is a very effective way to do it.Bird dogs point snakes often.The common link between the two are the excrement and its odor is very similar to the dogs.
40 years ago in Georgia they practiced a different snake protection system.
 

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I hunt and trial in snake country. I vaccinate and carry liquid Benadryl. More worried about the horses than the dogs to be honest.
 

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And getting thrown off a horse due to a rattlesnake isn't good!
That would be bad. The main concern though is the reaction they have to the bite closes down the airways, which are not that large on a horse comparatively speaking. If the nostrils swell shut, it’s game over.
 

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Contrary to what one may think, the most dangerous bites are to the chest area, which are very rare. The more proximal a bite, the better off it is. So, while you think that your dog getting fanged in the muzzle is is the worst, it’s actually about as good as you can hope for, and this is the most common type of encounter. Be ready for some serious swelling, administer some liquid Benadryl, and head to the vet. No reason to freak out.
 

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That would be bad. The main concern though is the reaction they have to the bite closes down the airways, which are not that large on a horse comparatively speaking. If the nostrils swell shut, it’s game over.
I did not know that.One would think a horse would handle it better than a dog when comparing the size between them.
 

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FYI, I have some friends who are Vets and we just recently had a discussion on the snake venom vaccine. They did a little investigating into the vaccine and found the licensing of the vaccine to be suspect. USDA does the licensing and the vaccine received a conditional licenses several years ago. This is a temporary designation where the manufacturer has to demonstrate a "reasonable expectation of efficacy". The manufacturer then renewed the conditional license under a different company name, instead of applying for full licensure which would require them to successfully demonstrate efficacy. None of the 3 would use the vaccine on their dogs.
 

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FYI, I have some friends who are Vets and we just recently had a discussion on the snake venom vaccine. They did a little investigating into the vaccine and found the licensing of the vaccine to be suspect. USDA does the licensing and the vaccine received a conditional licenses several years ago. This is a temporary designation where the manufacturer has to demonstrate a "reasonable expectation of efficacy". The manufacturer then renewed the conditional license under a different company name, instead of applying for full licensure which would require them to successfully demonstrate efficacy. None of the 3 would use the vaccine on their dogs.
Well that explains why my vet shook his head and said not proven when I inquired about the vaccine.At least he did not just role with it and take my money.
 

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Pit viper (rattlers, moccasins, copperheads) venom works by rapidly rotting the muscle wherever it touches. If you use a tourniquit to stop the flow of the venom through the blood vessels it will not get to their (your) heart or lungs and cause death but limb loss is possible. A constriction band will slow it down until you can get to a vet or hospital but not stop it. A coral snake kills with a nerve stopping venom and is different than a pit viper.

I grew up quail hunting in the south and also was a soldier who lived with the snakes. I've lost a couple of dogs (LOL, and a pet spider monkey once) to snake bites and know a bit about this topic. Snake proofing the dawg is the best way to go. Rattlers smell like goats so we'd use a non poisonous snake and roll him in goat hair back in the old days.

As far as a vaccine? Sounds like a "snake oil" scam to me. Please do some more research. Things may have changed in the last 20 years but I'm suspicious.
 
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