Rattlesnake Vaccines recommended as cooler temperatures increase snake activity

News Connection

SAN ANGELO, Texas- Rattlesnakes will be coming out of their dens now as our days are becoming cooler in the Concho Valley and your dog may be at risk.

“It’s really big this time of the year and also in the spring. That’s when the snakes are coming out of their den. We do feel that hunting dogs and working dogs of livestock are more exposed because they’re out much more so than a little house pet, but the problem you have with a house pet is that it doesn’t know anything about snakes and so he has no fear and runs out and may think its a stick,” said Gary Hodges, owner of the Western Veterinary Hospital.

The vaccine although recommended is quite controversial among veterinarians for its effectiveness.

“It is a conditional licensed vaccine because you have no two bites that are the same, you have no two animals the same, and you have no two snakes that are the same so for that reason you have a great deal of variation,” said Hodges.

Hodges treated 15 bites alone this past weekend and says calling your vet in emergencies is the best option.

“Getting them treated in a very timely fashion is much more important. Don’t use the wait and see method because if the animal gets behind its hard sometimes to catch up even if the animal has been vaccinated with the rattle snake vaccine,” said Hodges.

In the spring, there are desensitization classes for your dog to learn the boundaries when coming in contact with snakes in the area.

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