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Is Anyone Really Knowledgeable About Snakes/snake Bites?


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I think it's possible that Violet was bitten on her ear by a snake. I pulled out what looked like a fang, maybe just a couple of mm long. Her ear was bleeding a bit and there was immediate swelling the size of a nickel or so that felt like a pocket of fluid. I saw a snake nearby and thought it could possibly be a juvenile black snake, but someone local said a snake that small wouldn't have fangs that big yet. This happened an hr ago and she's acting normal otherwise. We're at a cabin and the local vet can't see her until 3:15 but said swelling wouldn't be normal with a non poisonous snake. But if it were, wouldn't we be seeing symptoms by now?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I'm NOT knowledgeable, but her ear might swell from the impact/injury without having any poison in it.

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I'm NOT knowledgeable, but her ear might swell from the impact/injury without having any poison in it.

That's what I was thinking/hoping except that the immediacy of it and it feeling like fluid is scary. It's still there, but now a bit more "spread out" if that makes sense.

 

I guess I should mention, we were at Antietam, which mostly has non-poisonous snakes, but there are copperheads and water moccasins. I really don't think the snake I saw was poisonous, but it was just laying on the trail ahead of us once we started walking again so its possible another snake bit her (although that would be an odd coincidence unless young snakes stay near their moms?). Worth noting that I didn't actually see her get bit and she had her head in/near a thorny bush so I could be completely nuts, but I am pretty positive what I pulled odd of her ear was not a thorn, which is what I initially thought.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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How scary! Can you get a picture of the fang-like-thing and her ear? I'm not too knowledgable about snake bites, but I believe there would be a bigger reaction by now if venom was present. Snake venom is meant to take down prey, so it would need to act fairly quickly so that the prey doesn't have a chance to wander miles/fight back before the venom takes effect (at least this is my own theory - I could be pulling that out of thin air :rolleyes:). Is it possible it's a large stinger of some sort?

 

ETA: I googled. This site has info on copperhead bites. I couldn't find anything different about cottonmouths. A lot of sites mention that about half the bites from venomous snakes turn out to be dry bite - so no venom. Also, are there two punctures in her ear?

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The other thing now that I read that - her ear is not painful as all. I can move it around, rub it, etc. with no reaction from her. I'm thinking that wouldn't be possible if she had been bitten by a poisonous snake.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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There are no water moccasins in Maryland, and I highly doubt it was a copperhead or a timber rattler, which are the two venomous snakes in Maryland. Did it have a diamond shaped head? If not, you're good. Probably just a pissed off harmless snake. If it was a rattler, she'd be in SEVERE pain, from what I understand.

 

Keep us posted!

 

PS - You mean venomous, not poisonous ;)

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Yeah, at this point I'm no longer worried. Just irritated because it ruined our freaking day. Mostly my fault because I worry too much, but we had to come back a ways to get better internet so I could try to figure it out and make sure she would be okay and that was the end of our fun. Oh well, wine and a good book will have to do.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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That's great - that she's good. And that you have wine. :)

:nod I swear this dog is going to be the death of me though.

 

BTW, I guess I also mean tooth and not fang since I'm assuming the snake wasn't venomous. ;)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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To help reduce the swelling/draining of the accumulated fluid, try folding the ear over her head and immobilize it. That's how we dealt with Gracie's hematoma. :)

 

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If this helps in future, my 20 pound westie was bitten on the nose by a copperhead. I did not see the bite and didn't even know she got bitten. Got the snake killed and all the dogs calmed down. 3 hours later, I noticed that Piper wasn't in the living room with me and went to find her. She was hiding under the bed and I had to pull her out. Her nose was a little swollen and I knew immediately what happened. I frantically called the e-vet; their main concern was her airway closing up. That was fine; she actually looked normal except for her nose being swollen.

 

So off to the e-vet we went, me bawling all the way for not having noticed this earlier. (I was concerned it was the puppy that got bitten because the puppy was right there by the snake.) E-vet shaved her nose, gave her an IV benedryl, IV antibiotic, IV pain meds. We took her home and she was fine the next day. It took 2 days for her nose to get back to normal size. Between the time she got bitten and the time we arrived at the e-vet and Piper was seen, probably 5 hours had gone by. We live an hour and half away from the closest e-vet.

 

E-vet told me that the real problem with a copperhead bite is the pain. When bitten on the nose or throat, you have to be concerned about breathing. Apparently here where I live (redneck heaven) a lot of people don't even take their dogs to a vet when they get bit by a copperhead. :censored

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Yeah, in my research yesterday I came across a message board where a guy talks about how his dogs have been bitten by copperheads multiple times and in every case he never took them to the vet and they survived. He was just letting everyone know so they knew that their dogs could survive a bite! :angry:

m

The swelling in Violet's ear is gone this morning. I can see some bruising now, but it still doesn't seem painful to her so clearly she's fine. We did have a rhabdo scare as well last night though. Hoping the rest of the wkd is worry free!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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