Living in the desert, you always want to make sure your dog is protected from the weather (if it's too hot) & certainly some of the wildlife. Among the wildlife you really need to watch out for, are rattlesnakes. Every year, at least 1 or 2 people die in the state of Texas every year from snakebites. So if you, or your pet, gets bitten by one, there ARE steps to take if that happens.

Ready to Strike
Clyde Laster

Where do rattlesnakes live?

If you live in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, or Canada, you can find yourself stumbling upon them. But the most common place to find rattlesnakes is the Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas. While they tend not to bite humans or anything that gets too close, they WILL if they're threatened. That includes people, or pets if you have them.

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El Paso has seen some crazy instances involving rattlesnake bites; one man was bitten by a decapitated rattlesnake back in 2018. They're especially dangerous if you go hiking during our monsoon season.

So what do you do if you or your dog get bitten by a rattlesnake?

Eastlake Animal Clinic in El Paso posted the importance of the rattlesnake vaccine for the dogs in March. This vaccine doesn't prevent the venom from spreading in your dog, but it does show the importance on getting the vaccine; by helping your dog generate the antibodies needed to fight AGAINST a snakebite.

What if I don't want to get the rattlesnake vaccine for my dog?

If you don't get the vaccine, the best thing for your dog is to get away from the snake & immediately call your vet. Afterwards get the proper antivenom & antibiotics to help fight the infection caused from the snake bite. It's a very similar case if YOU get bitten by a rattlesnake:

  • call 911,
  • wash the bite area with soap & water,
  • remove anything that might constrict the swelling; rings, watches, necklaces, etc
  • and also STAY CALM. The worst thing you can do is panic, so remain calm while you wait for help to arrive.
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And of course the biggest piece of advice, if you see a rattlesnake, just back away from it. You don't need something like THAT ruining your day.


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