Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Important Information in Canine Copperhead Snake Bites

Scratch some of that.  Copperheads may be aggressive in hot weather, particularly in July and August.

    I spent a very busy and sleepless weekend following an overnight copperhead attack of my border collie while she was in her own kennel.  This is an important post for anyone who has a dog and who lives in a region in which copperhead snakes reside.

            I posted it on my blog Life After the Rescues

Here is a direct link to the post:


lotta joy said...

Oh. You didn't tell me she was in her own kennel when it happened. That is HORRIBLE! And with no way to escape for the poor furchild, his fear must have been indescribable. Was he able to kill it?

JaneofVirginia said...

She did not kill the snake. As near as we can tell, the snake slithered off into the thickly wooded area behind the kennel. We had always liked the location where we had the kennel built because the thick trees nearby offered lots of shade in both hot sun and in Winter storms also. Now we are not so sure, and we are considering removing some of the trees in order to keep the forest farther from what should have been a haven for all the dogs.

Tewshooz said...

Living in the West, we don't worry about copperheads or cottonmouths. We have rattlesnakes. One got into one of my rabbit cages and she actually survived the bite. My cat was also bitten and I rushed her to the vet 40 miles away. They administered antivenom and she survived. When we got home, she immediately flushed out another rattler from a stone wall. I grabbed my pistol and then her and shot the snake. Luckily, where I live now there are no snakes except for the occasional garter snake. I grew up back east and the word always was, "watch out for the copperheads". Glad your furbaby survived. Is it true that snakes won't cross a hemp rope?

JaneofVirginia said...

We have rattlesnakes here as well but they are less frequently found here, and as a result the hospitals share doses of rattlesnake antivenin. They send it one place to another via hospital courier when it's needed. My great grandparent's ranch in California had rattlers everywhere ! Fortunately, none of them were ever bitten.
I don't know whether snakes will cross a hemp rope or not. Thanks for your post.

Linda said...

You might not be able to remove enough forest to keep the dogs safe if there is a lure to the kennels. The trees and their shade is necessary to keep the dogs safe. Maybe you can investigate and find a better way.

I am glad the dog is okay.

Quite possibly, the copperhead was hunting mice. How do you know it was a copperhead?
My mother was bitten by a copperhead when she was six and a cottonmouth when she was 12.

Gorges Smythe said...

Hardware clothe on the bottom four feet of the pen should do it, I've never seen a copperhead climb.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for the post. The vet said the copperheads may be attracted to the concrete pad inside which may hold steady warmth or may be cooler on hot days. (Just the way they are attracted to quieter country roads on cool mornings. ) She said that removal of the edge of the forest is unnecessary and that she would provide us with some copperhead repellant.
The vet also said that the injuries, the clinical condition, clinical course was consistent with multiple copperhead bites, and not with the other snakes.
It is an interesting theory that the copperhead may have been hunting mice when it encountered Skye. Despite the fact that there is an enclosed room in the kennel where we keep dry dog food of several types in tall metal trash cans, a few mice move in each Winter. We don't seem to have them now, however maybe the snakes are the reason we don't have them !
I am glad your mother was okay !

JaneofVirginia said...

That's an interesting idea, Gorges. You're right. I have seen black snakes and rat snakes climb (in fact a week or so ago) but I have never seen a copperhead leave the ground. Perhaps sealing the bottom edge should be part of our strategy.