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Go Lassie, Get That Snake...Oops
September 8, 2011 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Dog vs. Rattlesnake. Dog loses. But there is hope for other dogs. "At home, I lit candles in prayer, pleading to the universe that she would make it. I slept fitfully, realizing that this was her battle. I couldn’t will her to survive. Even so, I offered a psychic bargaining chip, promising her a trip to the ocean, which she had never seen, if she pulled through this." And, she did.
posted by Xurando (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Your post makes it sound like the dog died, which it didn't.

And while it was a blog and not the paper proper, but it was still very strange to see the New York Times caring about anything going on in Albuquerque that's not Breaking Bad.
posted by pts at 12:09 PM on September 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


This was a really good article but I can't help thinking it would have been significantly better having been written after said trip to the ocean, preferably with a happy dog splashing in the water :)
posted by Riptor at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2011


At home, I lit candles in prayer, pleading to the universe that she would make it. I slept fitfully, realizing that this was her battle. I couldn’t will her to survive. Even so, I offered a psychic bargaining chip,

I was going to make fun, pointing out that pleading to the universe is a pointless endeavor, that's it's a cold uncaring... yada, yada, yada. All the stuff I would normally say here.

But the thing is, I have pets. I have pets who have gotten really sick, and in some respects, pets are like children; we put a lot of love and effort into making sure they are safe, and when they are in a sick or injured state, your brain sort of goes away and the whole of your attention is on this poor animal that you know is miserable, made worse by its inability to articulate its discomfort.

And in that panicked, sleep-deprived state, things like superstitious bargaining just sort of happen in the back of your head, even if you know it's a useless gesture. It still pops in there.

So I won't make fun, because I've been there.

That said, aversion training seems like a damn good idea, even if it's temporarily uncomfortable for the animal, it could save it a lot sadness later.
posted by quin at 12:18 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't help thinking it would have been significantly better having been written after said trip to the ocean, preferably with a happy dog splashing in the water

That will be covered in the next installment, where the dog gets stung by a jellyfish and gets promised a trip to Martha's Vineyard, where there are sharks....

This is all just the dog's ploy for frequent flier miles.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:22 PM on September 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


My dad lived on a barrier island in Texas where there are rattlesnakes aplenty. Both his husky and his cat were bitten over the course of several years. In both cases, his vet told him to make them comfortable and see what happened. Both pets got through it and were fine afterwards. My dad's then wife said that the cat shed and regrew half its face in the process.
posted by tippiedog at 12:30 PM on September 8, 2011


My friend's lab went through aversion training and proceeded to get bit anyway. Turns out rattlesnake anti-venom (or whatever it's called) is REALLY expensive. They have repeated the aversion training since the bite, so hopefully it sticks this time. The problem seems unavoidable to me, dogs like to stick their noses in places where snakes like to hide.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2011


It seems like the aversion training would be really effective for dogs. Even humans can smell rattlesnakes. It's like watermelon or fresh cut grass in a place where there would probably not be watermelon or fresh cut grass.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:18 PM on September 8, 2011


My dog's experience to the one in the article was similar except that she got bit by a copperhead and our vet bill was about $40.00.

We were out hiking at the trail near my house. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her snap at something on the side of the trail. I thought it might be a bee. After a few minutes she started lagging behind rather than leading me. I finally noticed that she was limping so I checked her paws for thorns and then turned toward home which was at least a 15 minute walk along the trail; she had to walk because she is too heavy for me to carry. Fortunately my husband met me with the truck at the base of the trail. When we got her home, that's when we saw the swelling. One paw and her face started ballooning up but I was still thinking bee or wasp sting.

We got her to the vet who administered anti-venom right away. He's an old guy-- very experienced-- and said that judging by the fang marks it was a copperhead and a big one at that. She took a few days to recuperate at home but she was completely back to normal within a week.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:28 PM on September 8, 2011


We've had our Corgi vaccinated for rattlesnake bites because the property around my wife's family homestead is swarming with them.

Snakes, that is, not Corgis. Swarming with Corgis would be too cute.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:25 PM on September 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


My 100 pound German Shepherd was bitten by (it is believed) a rattlesnake on the Applachian Trail, miles from help. My first indication of trouble was when she lay down for a water break and couldn't get up again. Within a couple hours, she was clearly in trouble, almost incapacitated and unable to tolerate any movement of her leg. How she was saved is a story for another time, but only a couple days earlier, as we left the trailhead, I'd been congratulating myself on how I'd thrown together a week's hiking trip on a shoestring budget. Once we knew she'd live and wouldn't lose her leg, we totalled up the vet bills and I realized I could have gone hiking in Nepal for the amount it cost.

Of course, I didn't care. But still, I would have liked to go to Nepal instead.
posted by itstheclamsname at 6:43 PM on September 8, 2011


My rattlesnake was killed by a swarm of Corgis.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:05 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, yeah - a Swarm of Corgis is acute.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:07 PM on September 8, 2011


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