Friday, June 8, 2012

The Effects of Snakebite on a Dog.

 The above photo is Lucas, who was bitten on the neck by a Cottonmouth. The photo was taken after a trip to the vet. Total time was about four hours after being bitten. The swelling was the size of a baseball.
 The above photo was taken the next morning. Twelve hours After Bite.
At 18 hours AB the bottom part of the swelling broke open and began to bleed. It would continue to bleed for a couple of days, then the bleeding tapered off.

 This is Lucas two days later.

 The above photo is the wound at the bottom of the swelling after three days. Note the black area. That is not a scab but dead flesh.
The above photo is three days AB. The swelling has now reached its peak. At no time did Lucas lose his appetite or his ability to function. He did sleep more for three days and he wasn't playful at all, but after three days he started getting some kick back.

This is three days AB. Sam, Lucas' much older brother, seemed delighted that Lucas was scaled back for a little while.

The swelling continued to go down for a couple of more days and the wound got bigger. The vet told me this was normal and as the dead flesh fell off Lucas would heal.

The above photo is the wound six days AB

This is what it looked like when I got home today. One Week AB. The swelling is nearly all gone. I cut away the dead flesh that was hanging around and cleaned out all the surface trash from the wound. 

One week AB and this is what the wound looks like.  Note there is still some dead flesh over on the left but overall this is what healing looks like after the bite has done almost all the damage it is going to do.

Here is what the vet gave me. Note I got Lucas to the vet in under two hours.

Solu Delta Cortef Steroid injection
Antibiotic injection

And gave me 40 Amoxicillian capsules
And 20 Prednisone tablets. 

The snake was small, only two feet long and Lucas weighs one oh seven. That helped. 

I'll update this as needed. 

Take Care,


  1. Oh yeah, he's on the mend now, looking good. Hopefully he's a wiser dog, too.

    1. I cannot allow hope, Bruce.

      Snake Aversion Training will begin tomorrow.

      I will not lose this dog.

  2. Do your best to train your dog but clear that brush. JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH! How awful. I am so, so thankful this had a happy ending. Way too close for comfort. Good job, Mike.

    1. Thanks, Val. I got lucky and I know it.

      This could have been so much worse.

  3. I had to come back and re-read this post today. Our dog, Rocko, was bitten on the lip yesterday - probably by a copperhead. I never saw the offending ophidian because Rocko was deep in the berry patch when it happened.

    Here in the Great Smoky Mountains we have plentiful copperheads and timber rattlers; if he had tangled with a rattler, we would have lost him. He was in a lot of pain yesterday but that has passed. His lip is still seeping dark brown blood and he has a large pocket of fluid on his neck. We removed his collar as soon as the neck started swelling.

    Sadly we could not afford to take him to the emergency vet on a holiday, but my wife is friends with a local vet. They spoke yesterday and the vet said that he'll probably be fine. She suggested Benadryl for the swelling. We also have a Cherokee friend who has had many dogs bitten by copperheads, all of whom survived.

    Thanks for this post, Mike.

    1. Jay,

      The use of Benadryl is in some depute. My vet says it's okay but the vet who actually treated Lucas says she wouldn't use it on snake bit because it slows the body's ability to fight off the venom. I gave Lucas 100mg of it, by the way, right after the bite.

      The only thing I recommend is antibiotics. That and keep an eye on him. Three days of hell is what you're heading for, but only three days. Please keep me updated!

  4. On the subject at hand however if a snake shows and ruins your party, get the dogs, horses and everyone else out of the way! Best to call a snake catcher to deal with the problem.
    All the best

    1. Wow, and just how long would it take you to get here? LOL!~!!!!

  5. So happy for Lucas and you with Lucas living out the rest of his life!!! I had a pittie bitten probably by moccasin or copperhead on the immediately...swelling but no other problems and no necrosis of the skin at all. My husky was bitten also on the neck years immediately...he was lifeless and salivating soon as the vet gave him an injection all within 30 minutes to hour...he came back to life and no necrosis either. I dont know how both my babies came out with out losing some skin etc .... pittie was under 45 lbs and husky was about 60 lbs. Maybe my pittie wasn't poisonous and the husky I know had to be poisonous due to his lose of body control immediately. I dont know how either one came out so unscaved. Thank God...just fyi about snake bites on dogs