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Will a poisonous snake bite kill a dog? I seem to think I read somewhere that dogs have a natural immunity to snakebite. Please set me straight on this. Thanks.
Neil robinson
 

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Neil,
I have a buddy that lost a dog here in Wyoming due to a rattlesnake bite. I dont know if some dogs can build immunity or not? I've heard some guys speak of their horses getting pretty sick and swollen from rattlesnake bites as well. But never heard of one being killed.
 

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Dogs do not have a "natural immunity" to snake venom. How a bite actually affects a dog depends on the site of the bite, how much venom is actually injected, the size and type of snake, the size of the dog and the general health of the dog.

Pat Ireland
 

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Many times when rattlesnakes strike they inflict a "dry bite" because their venom takes a fairly long time to replenish itself. They save it for killing prey & emergencies. I was in the mountains recently & was talking to a man that said his dog had been bitten that morning by a rattler, & it was in the back of his pick-up wagging his tail & jumping around. No ill effects.

Mark54 in Lititz
 

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The problem with anti-venom is finding it when you need it, not many places in the boonies keep that high dollar stuff on hand, and it's "shelf life" is pretty short. Not many vets will take the chance on keeping it on hand with the risk of it just becoming trash.

Any injected bite is serious, from the neck forward especially so.
 

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I've had several dogs that have been snake bitten over the years. My brother I know had one dog bitten , my sisters little “hot dog” was bitten and I have one cat that’s been bitten at least 3 times that I know of. In all cases the bites were on the nose or neck and in none of the cases did we lose an animal. At least three of the cases were Mohave Greens the “most deadly snake of North America”. The reason they are always bitten on the face or neck is because they always get bitten going after the snake (head first of course)
 

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I've had several dogs that have been snake bitten over the years. My brother I know had one dog bitten , my sisters little “hot dog” was bitten and I have one cat that’s been bitten at least 3 times that I know of. In all cases the bites were on the nose or neck and in none of the cases did we lose an animal. At least three of the cases were Mohave Greens the “most deadly snake of North America”. The reason they are always bitten on the face or neck is because they always get bitten going after the snake (head first of course)
 

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An older snake will not inject as much venom into an animal as a young snake will. Young snakes empty their venom sacs, so to speak, whenever they bite because they haven't learned to regulate their output. Older snakes can bite and not release much venom in cases where they are warding off or warning other animals or reptiles.
 

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The rattle snakes in Alberta are usually in their den because of colder weather during our bird hunting season. I have heard but not actually tried putting a dog through "snake school" where the trainers teach the dog to avoid snakes by use of an e-collar and some venomless snakes.
 

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git-er-done, that's BS about younger snakes injecting more venom than older snakes. There's plenty of info available about rattlesnakes so there's no need for tall tales.
 

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The snake break programs work if the dogs are reinforced every year AND you must use rattle snakes form your area. Rattle snakes have an odor that dogs recognize before they see the snake and of course the rattle is a warning. The vaccine is the best thing since sliced bread... wish they made it for humans. A snake bite can do a lot of damage to tissue - some of it permanent. Because of where I live in the foothills of L.A., I kill about 2 or 3 rattlesnakes a year in my back yard. The gopher and king snakes I just put down the hill to go get the rats and rabbits. Fred
 
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