Thursday, July 24, 2008


We think our great dane has been bitten by a snake. Yesterday evening one of her legs was swollen and I'm pretty sure I saw a bite area. With the swelling it was a bit hard to tell at first. She doesn't appear to be in any pain and we don't know when the bite happened. Zelda isn't a yelpy dog, even when she's in pain, so she might not have made any sound when she got bitten. Since we don't know what kind of snake, we can't get her anti-venen, all we can do is treat the symptoms. I'm hoping for a copperhead though the bite mark was a bit high up for that. Rattlesnake bites are more often fatal without anti-venen, but for an animal Zelda's size a copperhead bite would not likely kill her. As long as secondary infection doesn't set in the treatment won't break the bank. If it does we're going to be eating ramen a lot.

I'm glad she's not in any pain. She didn't flinch or get upset when the area was touched. A dog that size in pain can be very very difficult to handle. Her strength can catch you off guard and I would not want to be bitten. I've seen her teeth, looks like it would be a very painful experience.

I'm getting Teddy & Tommy some boots and having them clear out the weeds along the fence line (with a weed whacker) because that's prime snake hiding territory. Yeah I could send Dan, but honestly my teen age sons are less likely to be bitten than their father since they are more observant. I'm also keeping Bessie & Puppy (yes that's his name) out of the backyard until we have a chance to check things out. Walking Puppy is Bessie's job and she often does it in flip flops. Obviously I don't want anyone else bitten, especially my youngest child. Puppy only weighs 30lbs or so, so he would take a much harder hit than Zelda. I never walk Stinky back there. He's a weird little Pomeranian who decided long ago to use the litter box like the cats. He only goes to the front yard. Yes, I know there could be snakes in the front yard, but the grass is a lot shorter and it's less likely.

I don't hate snakes, and don't follow the "a good snake is a dead snake" philosophy. Encounters happen and the snake was not stalking my dog waiting for an opportunity to strike. Still, I have pets and kids, so I'm going to have to work to make my yard a bit less snake friendly.

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