Imagine you are out walking the dog.
Suddenly, something long and dark slithers in the bushes. There is a loud rattling sound, a scuffle, and a yelp from your beloved pooch before he comes running back towards you limping.
“Oh no!” you think, feeling panicked. “Did my dog just get bitten by a rattlesnake?”
It is a pet owners’ worst nightmare.
There are over 25 species of poisonous snakes across North America, and one of the most populous in the US is the rattlesnake. Every year, approximately 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes. Additionally, as the world gets hotter and drier because of climate change, rattlesnake and pit viper habitat is projected to expand even further.
Therefore, it has never been more important to protect your dog from snakebites! Luckily, Top Dog Pet Insurance is here with everything you need to know about the rattlesnake vaccine for dogs.
How does the rattlesnake vaccine work?
When your dog was a puppy, they received an assortment of shots from the veterinarian. These probably included Distemper, Parvo, and Rabies. But did you know there is also a canine rattlesnake vaccine?
Approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2004, rattlesnake vaccines are the #1 way to save your dog’s life from such a bite, in terms of preventative measures.
Here’s how it works:
Vaccines are administered in two doses. Your veterinarian will schedule these one month apart the first time your dog gets inoculated, and then boosters are recommended on a 6 month to yearly basis, depending on geographical risk. Inside the vaccine itself is inactive Western Diamondback Rattlesnake venom. This ingredient stimulates a dog’s immune system and forces it to produce protective antibodies that (if ever met with a rattlesnake bite) will neutralize the venom.
This buys you valuable time to rush your dog to an emergency veterinarian.
Remember, dogs can still go into shock, suffer neurological damage, and bleed after a snake bite. Many will need an antivenin.
But the rattlesnake vaccine buys you extra minutes – and these can be lifesaving!
How much does the rattlesnake vaccine for dogs cost?
As a pet parent, you do everything possible to keep your dog safe.
However, accidents and injuries happen. There is no 100% guaranteed way to prevent your dog from getting bitten by a rattlesnake, especially if you enjoy hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors with your pup.
If an accident occurs, can you shoulder the cost?
Rattlesnake vaccine prices are determined by individual veterinarian clinics. Generally, you can expect to pay $25 per vaccination, plus exam fees and boosters.
How much does it cost to treat a dog for rattlesnake bite?
This is where many dog owners get surprised. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, “The treatment is expensive — often more than $2,500. Beyond the normal costs of emergency care, the average vial of antivenom costs $600 to $1000.”
All the more reason to get pet insurance!
5 Simple ways to protect your dog from rattlesnake bites
Of course, preventing rattlesnake bites in the first place is the goal.
For example, try to:
- Avoid areas where rattlesnakes live
- Stay on trails
- Keep your dog on a leash
- Practice recall
- Clean up yard grass, leaves, wood piles, etc.
Do you live somewhere with a high rattlesnake population? As the climate gets warmer and more people enjoy being outside with their pups, it is wise to consider the benefits of different vaccines and emergency preparedness measures for dogs, including rattlesnake vaccines.
Stay safe with Top Dog Pet Insurance!