Many of you are asking, so here’s a final update after the rattlesnake bite. No worries.
I got what I asked for! Except for a bit of residual swelling on his nose and the shaved patch on the back of his neck where the pain patch was, and in two spots on his legs for the IVs, today you would never know anything happened. No puncture wounds are visible.
AND, Mica has no reservations whatsoever about spending time on his mat at the back door, or going anywhere in the yard.
A few days after the incident, I noticed a couple of reddish spots on the wall next to the back door and believe it’s forensic evidence from the scene of the crime!
I imagine that while Mica laid on the mat, the snake approached, Mica moved to investigate, and the snake—sans a rattle—struck him on top of the nose.
Mica spun around to retreat, hit his nose on the wall, and that’s the thud that brought me to investigate. They’re a perfect match to the bloody marks on his nose and the reason the puncture wounds were a little smeared when I saw him.
The ‘puffy’ got his final parvovirus shot this week, as well as rabies, so he is now FREE! We can leave the property, walk the ‘hood, go to the lake and begin the socialization process. Woo-hoo!
We all want to thank each and every one of you who sent good mojo this way for Mica’s recovery. I felt it was remarkably fast and complete and am fortunate to have such wonderful friends.
For those who may live in an area with a similar threat, here’s what I learned from a local snake expert about avoiding a repeat.
Snakes follow the food supply, obviously, which is mice, pack rats, etc., who follow the foundation of buildings for protection, and because pack rats have poor eyesight. Control the food supply and you can control the predators, he said.
Keep shrubs and vegetation away from the edges of gates and doorways because snakes can climb to an extent and will hide or sleep in protected areas.
Don’t leave water out where mice can get to it, keep piles of wood and rubbish, etc. out of the yard, and set traps, if necessary, to control vermin.
Ropes, mothballs, etc. apparently are NOT effective at all in keeping snakes away. I wouldn’t want mothballs around pets, anyway. Puppies eat everything.
A snake fence made of 1/4″ hardware cloth, 36″ high is the only guaranteed method to keep snakes out and it must be installed properly.
A rattlesnake vaccination changes the chemical makeup of a dog, I was told, so if they are bitten they don’t require the $500 antivenin treatment. A vaccine is about $50—a lot cheaper than the nearly $2000 we ended up paying. Since Mica was discharged after only one night at the hospital, our quote was a little high and the local vet didn’t charge us for the followup visit to remove the patch.
Snake avoidance training is available and results in dogs actively avoiding the varmints. It may be a good idea as Mica was most enthralled with the dead coral snake he discovered on a walk and had to visit that spot every day thereafter. A quick look on the Internet yielded a range of $69 – $100 per dog. I think I know people who charge less.
I understand that in our new world, all the nasty things put here to harm us and make our lives miserable—from poison ivy to biting insects and poisonous snakes—will be a thing of the past—probably gone from memory.
Imagine not being prey to anyONE or anyTHING. Could be Heaven.
As you can see, Mica was back to normal in a few days… including biting and humping. Next—the neuter!
As an aside, he is so big now at 17 weeks tomorrow, that he can no longer “swim” on the beach step. He walks. To swim he has to venture further.
I got a pig snout for him to chew on, and I don’t know if he dropped it in the pool or it blew in, but I happened to look out and see his head barely above the pool edge half way from the deep end, swimming for the beach step with the snout in his mouth so whatever happened, he rescued it right away and got to work on it; a satisfying 2-hour interlude for Mum with no biting. Ahhhhhhh… the joys of puppydom.