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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:49 PM

My dog was once bitten by a Copperhead.

I came home, and noticed that my dog was just not his usual bouncing self. He was "acting funny", you might say. He also acted as if he had let me down, in some way. I live on 20 acres of woods which he does an excellent job of guarding and protecting, but I could tell by the way he acted he was in pain, and also ashamed that he had somehow let me down in his duties. When you live with a dog long enough, you can tell what they are trying to tell you. Other dog owners will know what I am talking about.

So I immediately took him to the Vet.

After a thorough examination, the Vet told me - first of all - that he was ok and would recover fully (which I greatly appreciated and was relieved to hear). They found fang marks. Luckily, they found very little poison. The Vet told me he was very lucky, because it was obviously a full-grown male. If it had been a female or a juvenile, the snake would have released all it's venom. But males tend to want to save their venom for their prey, and so release very little when attacking for defense. Also, their venom acts as a necrosis agent much like a Brown Recluse spider. So, Copperhead bites treated with simple antibiotics. In fact, the Vet told me his own son had once fallen into a pit of Copperheads and bitten multiple times. They treated him with antibiotics and he was just fine after a while.

Then the VET told me WHERE the fang-marks were - or rather he attempted to, trying to be as PC as possible. It slowly began to dawn on me, he was bitten on the rear of - shall we say - his "dangly bits". I burst out laughing, partly in relief, but partly because of the image that came to my mind.

Now, I have quite a few Copperheads on my property, and I know they prefer to hide rather than attack. I have seen several Copperheads "passing through" just to get a drink of water from the creek. I would just stand still and not threaten them, and they would run away. They will only strike when they feel they have to or when they are surprised.

For my dog to have been bitten where he was, basically he would have been squatting - as if to poop. For a male Copperhead to actually strike and bite him, the Copperhead would have had to feel in immediate danger, like in the case of my dog pooping on his head! So the image that made me start laughing was from the Copperhead's perspective:

I imagined the snake lying in the leaves, knowing he was well-hidden, when he senses my dog coming near. "Ok, big dog, just keep on going... wait, why are you sniffing around? Do you smell me? Do you know I am here? Wait, why are you circling? What are you doing? Wha,,,, MOTHERFU...... "

As I said, he's fine now. Although when I took him back for a follow-up they gave me some antibiotic cream to spread on the "affected area". I had to explain to him why I was rubbing his most delicate-of-delicates, but he still didn't like it and looked at me funny for a while. But eventually all the dead skin grew back and he became his Old Self.

Oh, and for those of you who wish to chastise me for leaving his danglies instead of have him "fixed", allow me to tell you that the nearest female dog is over 1.5 miles away, and he never strays from our property. His "job" to protect it and my house is too strong in his estimation.

As far as protection is concerned, I do own a single-shot shotgun that I have used to kill a Timber Rattler and a Copperhead that both decided to take-up residence a little too close to the house. As I said, I have no problem when they are just "passing through", but when they take up residence and threaten me or my dog - they have to go. Also, the way I look at it, my gun is only useful when I am there. My dog guards the house when I am there or when I am away.

Plus, he gives me love that my shotgun could never give.

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply My dog was once bitten by a Copperhead. (Original post)
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 OP
Skittles Dec 2012 #1
LeftofObama Dec 2012 #2
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #6
LeftofObama Dec 2012 #7
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #12
Control-Z Dec 2012 #13
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #18
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #17
Purveyor Aug 2017 #30
donco Dec 2012 #3
In_The_Wind Dec 2012 #4
Not Ruth Aug 2017 #28
In_The_Wind Aug 2017 #34
Ruby the Liberal Dec 2012 #5
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #8
Ruby the Liberal Dec 2012 #22
Tanuki Aug 2017 #27
rbixby Dec 2012 #9
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #10
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #11
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #14
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #15
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #19
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2012 #23
calimary Dec 2012 #16
Diclotican Dec 2012 #20
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #21
leeroysphitz Dec 2012 #24
tiffany73 Aug 2017 #25
Rhiannon12866 Aug 2017 #32
drray23 Aug 2017 #26
Docreed2003 Aug 2017 #29
Tanuki Aug 2017 #31
TEB Aug 2017 #33

Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:01 PM

1. OMG

your idea of what the snake that righteous snake was thinking

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:04 PM

2. Copperhead, rattlesnake, garter snake

They're all the same to me. The first sight of one and the house goes up for sale and I go screaming like a little kid!

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:19 PM

6. Like everything, it comes with experience.

One word of warning, a Cottonmouth aka Water Moccasin WILL chase you. If you see one of those, RUN! Otherwise, most other snakes just stand still or slowly back-off.

they really ARE "more afraid of you than you are of them."

Actually, most of my experience comes as an avid hiker.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:24 PM

7. they really ARE "more afraid of you than you are of them."

My brother used to tell me the same thing. My response: "No, no I'm definitely more afraid of them than they are of me."

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:39 PM

12. OK. I just had another mental image

of the snake laughing as you ran off!

Or at least thinking "well, That was EASY!"

Peace to you and yours!

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:40 PM

13. Cottonmouth aka Water Moccasin?

Really? I never knew that. I was warned about Water Moccasins as a child. In fact, that was THE scariest creature on earth to me when I was young. But I thought (assumed) the Water Moccasin was found in places like Connecticut, where I lived as a child, and that the Cottonmouth was found in deserts. So I was totally mistaken?

Wow. Weird thing to learn after so many years.

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:08 PM

18. When a Water Moccasin opens it's mouth

and it's cottony-white inside, you can see where they got the name.

My first run-in was at Cummins Falls outside of Cookeville, TN.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:58 PM

17. Yes they will!

 

The last time I swam in Whites Creek (many, many moons ago) was because a Cottonmouth objected to sharing the waters with me. In the end I saw his/her point of view and have restricted myself to swimming pools ever since. I'm just glad we don't have Black Mambas in Tennessee.

- Then I'd have to get myself a Mongoose.....

K&R

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 10:32 PM

30. One of the worst snakes to be bitten by, cottonmouth Getting bite by one is similar to getting MRSA

 

I know of two people when living around the gulf of Mexico that had suffered through that ordeal.

Doctors had to cut away skin and muscle to stop the spread of their filthy wicked bite.

One spring the Trinity river flooded bigtime flushing those bastarda into Trinity bay. Why my Suzy (German Shepard) and Max (black lab) never got bit, I'll never know why.

It was then I learned they made "snake shot" for my .38spl revolver and yes...I killed at least a dozen of them. It was crazy there for about a week but we made it...

Now here in Michigan we only have one snake, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake that is poisonous and rare so I leave snakes alone here. Hate it though when they surprise.

My mom on the other hand had a specially designated how just for all and any snake.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:07 PM

3. Are perhaps

the snake was under the rock when dog hiked his leg up to...well,do what male dogs do to mark there territory.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:10 PM

4. Snakes are among the few things that I will kill.

I've been killing snakes for 45 years.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 10:00 PM

28. Snakes defend themselves, you are not snake food, leave them alone, they will return the favor

 

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #28)

Mon Aug 7, 2017, 07:55 AM

34. Tell that to my old dog. She wouldn't bite them but in defense the snake would bite her.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:13 PM

5. Oh that poor puppy!

But that was hilarious. If true, the dog got the better of it.

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:40 PM

8. I think he learned his lesson, at least

he hasn't been bitten again!

Another true story, coming home one time there was a juvenile resting on the boardwalk leading to the stairs to my house. My dog just walked over him like he wasn't there - he didn't move. I had grocery bags in my hands and walked beside him to get to the stairs. He still didn't move. But I knew he was there and couldn't have that. After putting my groceries away, I grabbed a broom and went back down the steps. I swiped at him several times to get him off, but it was only after the 3rd or 4th swipe that he even moved, and he did eventually strike at the broom bristles.

You may have heard about the "triangular head" and I have always wondered about that since most venomous snakes I have seen didn't have them. Well, after I managed to successfully sweep this small snake into what used to be a "flower box" in front of the boardwalk. I watched him. And I could see the glands swell and watched as his smooth head became a triangular head. So, I now know what they mean. I then went back upstairs.

But, luckily, he was gone the next morning. I guess he decided that my house was not a good place to be. Which was my intent all along!

But now I know all about the "triangular head" thing.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:57 PM

22. Red to yellow, kill a fellow; red to black, friend of Jack

I'm from the south and still remember that one. Yep - the triangle swelling is a freaky sight. Glad I have only ever seen it on video, but at least know what it means.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:51 PM

27. Another feature of venomous snakes in our region is that

they have broader bodies, a.k.a "fat snakes."

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:17 PM

9. The answer is obviously to arm the dogs with more snakes! NT

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Response to rbixby (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:35 PM

10. Of course!

Why didn't I think of that?!?!?111

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:38 PM

11. That's funny, 'cause my cat was once attacked by a scalawag -

 

and I once had a hamster that had a run-in with BOTH a know-nothing and a mugwump!

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Response to downandoutnow (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:41 PM

14. Did he jump straight into the air? nt

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:46 PM

15. I'm so glad the fella is okay! Wow, that must have been a shocker to him!

Poor thing.

Yeah, I was wondering about not having him fixed. I've heard that it makes them healthier, to be fixed, as well as have a less aggressive personality, but I know it's a guy thing. And you may want him more aggressive.

I have a boy and a girl and live in the city, so fixing was a must. (Well, I got the boy from a rescue organization, so he was already fixed.) My boy got bitten on the nose, just a scratch, by a squirrel. The squirrel was badly injured but not dead, when my dog went to sniff him on our walk. I didn't see the squirrel, or I would've stopped him. Then the squirrel jumped up, bit my dog quickly and hobbled off quickly. Poor thing. He must've been hit by a car.

But when I looked at his nose, there was no blood, so I figured he was okay.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:18 PM

19. If I lived in the city, I'd definitely have him fixed.

Sad story about the squirrel. At least he wasn't rabid! And if he didn't draw blood, you have to assume that the dog is ok. But I know what it's like - watching him carefully after that just to make sure.

You have to put on a strong face, but you can't help but worry.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:26 PM

23. I had a dog that eventually died from testicular cancer.

The vet told us neutering would have avoided that.

Never again.

http://www.medicinenet.com/pets/dog-health/spaying_or_neutering_your_dog_faq.htm
Q: Will spaying or neutering my dog prevent future illnesses?

A: Yes, absolutely. In females, it greatly decreases mammarian cancer and completely eliminates uterine cancers and diseases. In males, it eliminates testicular cancers or diseases and can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Generally, spayed and neutered pets live longer, happier lives.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:52 PM

16. Wow! What a story! Good information!

Very glad you posted this, NashvilleLefty.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:22 PM

20. NashvilleLefty

NashvilleLefty

Thanks that the only snake we have here in Norway is a Vipera berus, I'm not sure what they call it in english - but in Norwegian it is called Huggorm... And are not a dangerous snake - little dangerous for small animals - and they can bite animals too - and make them sick for a while - but never kill of some larger ones - and not at all humans - if they are not hyper-allergic to the venom then...

But anyway - this was kind of a funny story - where the dog maybe even learned a lesson or two - look closely for any snakes before you shit...

And yes I can imagine how this was going - the poor dog just wanted to do his business - and the poor snake discovering that the dog deiced to dump at the same spot he was... And to be honey - i can understand why the poor snake decided to bite.. but what a spot to bite - in the dogs private parts... Oh dear...

Diclotican

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:50 PM

21. I wonder how many meters in the air the dog jumped?

I bet he took off like a rocket.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:50 PM

24. A moose once bit my sister.

 

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:30 PM

25. Copperhead sake

I had two of my Shih Tzu's bitten by a copperhead. My dog Bradley got the first bite and was loaded up with venom the second Shih Tzu Kinley received a dry bite because all the venom went in Bradley. We jumped in the car and headed to their vet. We went to his house because his office was closed, he met us at his vet office and gave him a shot like Benadryl . He could not give Kinley a shot because she was 8 weeks pregnant so he told me to give her a third of a Benadryl pill when we got home but she was the one who received the second bite the dry bite. Kinley had minimum swelling on the leg she was bitten on and we did find the fang marks. After about 10 hours she pretty much returned back to normal. However, Bradley who received all the venom could barley walk because he was bitten on his leg and he was very swollen on that leg and all through the front of his breast bone-upper chest area. His skin was black and it looked very bad, very scary. He was in a lot of pain, I mean a lot. He whimpered all night and cried. He still kept his appetite throughout the whole ordeal up until about 40 hours later when he started throwing up like crazy, He vomited pretty much everything we had given him after the snake bite. Then I started calling around for emergency vets since my vet is closed on Sundays and he had just seen him that Friday evening and he only gave him the one shot with no after treatment, I wanted to take him to an emergency clinic that was able to provide more services. We ended up driving almost 2 hours to an emergency hospital in Greensboro NC. They took him in and checked his blood and done X-Rays. All of his blood work was pretty good considering he had been bitten by a venous snake. He was given an antibiotic to take home, a pill to settle his stomach, and pain killers. What makes me so mad is my own hometown vet did not give him any pills for pain or any antibiotics to take home when we rushed him there on Friday. One thing to do that helps a snake bitten victim is to give them pedeilyte constantly and keep them hydrated after a snake bite. The emergency vet told me that most time the typical copperhead will not kill your dog but it is always best to take your dog to an emergency animal hospital right away because they need to check his blood and do labs to make sure his kidneys, liver, blood cells are in a normal range. That is how they can tell if your dog is in any organ failure due to the potion of the snake. Their life depends on the age of your pet and how well you keep them hydrated through the ordeal. He still feels bad and it has been over 50 hours. He had muscle tremors, very weak, and all he wants to do is sleep. The first night he was bitten he cried all night from the pain. He was agitated all night and was very restless. It is a very scary ordeal and makes your dog very sick if they get the venom. I do know if it were a puppy or an older dog they may not have made it. Mine is still not out of the woods yet and he is four years old. Keep some Benadryl on hand and if they are small dogs give them a third of a pill right away if they are bitten. Make sure they have plenty of fluids and get them to an animal emergency hospital. The cost was 700 dollars but if it will help it is worth it and I know I have done all I can to help him.

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Response to tiffany73 (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 11:29 PM

32. Oh! I am so sorry! What a terrible ordeal for your little dog!

And kudos to you for going above and beyond to get him the help he needed - to save his life and to keep him from suffering, poor little guy! It really sucks that the Emergency Clinic was so far away. I'm fortunate here in NE NY that we now have an Animal Emergency Clinic just one exit down the highway that's open nights and hours when most vet offices are closed. I've had to use then 3x over the years and they are pretty expensive, but I'm just grateful that they're there.

I hope your Bradley - that both of your dogs - feel better soon. You did all you needed to do and they are very fortunate to have you!

I tend to identify since I have a Brussels Griffon, used to have two, and people who don't know have asked me if they're Shih Tzus.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)


Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 10:12 PM

29. My dad was bitten by a copperhead when I was a kid

He was picking tomatoes at our house north of Nashville. The snake struck him on the calf but dad grabbed it right as he struck, so he didn't get much poison. What he did get was the conundrum of "What do you do with a snake when you've grabbed it by the head?" He twisted its head, rendering it lifeless...lol, not sure there was another option!

Are you still in TN? Actually just moved back here last year.

Great story! Thanks for sharing

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #29)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 11:08 PM

31. When I was in high school in West Virginia, the dad of one of my

fellow students was out helping her look for insects for a school science project. He got a nasty copperhead bite when he turned over a rock.....years later he still had neuropathy in that hand.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Original post)

Mon Aug 7, 2017, 06:18 AM

33. Glad your dog is fine

We have em up here as well the property across the way is old farm been abandoned for 25 years and infested with copperheads I keep lower gate closed so boog chocolate lab does not stray that way. We access it to fish the property is posted and several other farms post the stream but we asked years ago and we can trout fish. We keep one eye on ground and one eye where we're going and they don't bother us. Years back friend of my wife's her husband got a strike but like me he had chest waders so he was ok. And there is old flour mill on stream and this year our son and his friends we were fishing the holes and we saw big rattler sunning himself on dam by flour mill he must be eating mice doing ok for himself.

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