Every year, around 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes in the USA. While many dog owners may know they live in an area with rattlesnakes, they might not know there’s a vaccine available for dogs.
The vaccine has been developed to provide protection against the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake’s venom. While it is most effective against bites from this particular snake, it also gives some protection against similar venoms through generating protective antibodies that can neutralize the venom.
Dogs with the antibodies experience less pain and have less risk of permanent injury from a bite. Vaccinated dogs typically have less swelling, less tissue damage, and recover quicker. If the dog is bit it should still see a veterinarian.
How often the dog should be vaccinated depends on how big the risk is, how big the dog is, and other factors.
If your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake or other snake, it is always an emergency. Even a vaccinated dog needs to see a veterinarian for evaluation – the dose of venom can be more than the immunity from the vaccine can handle. Bites from non venomous snakes are also serious, because they can lead to infections, and the dog might need antibiotics. If your dog is bit by a snake, time is of the essence. Go see at vet at once.
To learn more about rattlesnake vaccine, click here to visit Red Rock Biologics.