Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rattlesnakes Can Be Hazardous To Your Health




Zanna learned her lesson after the first time she saw the snake. When she got shocked, she flipped over backwards. In the bottom picture, she sees the second snake, and is readying to run back to the gate, where we are standing. She got there post-haste. She is no dummy.

This yellow lab, Buck, has been through two rattlesnake bites at two different occasions. His body language is screaming: I am not even going near that snake, I smell it. Just let me go back to my owner, please. Now!

Dawn found us at the Llano Estacado Bird Hunting Assn.’s annual De-Snaking Clinic. This is a clinic which exposes dogs to rattlesnakes, training the dogs that rattlesnakes are hazardous to their health.


Basically, the snake’s mouth is sewn shut, and an e-collar is placed on the dog. Another trainer takes your dog out, and if the dog shows any curiosity at all towards the snake, the dog is shocked. This makes the dog associate pain with the rattlesnake.


Zanna was very curious - one time. On her second try, she smelled the snake, and wouldn’t go close. And that, folks, is exactly what you want.


By the way - local vets are suggesting the rattlesnake vaccination shot...and we get our dogs vaccinated bi-annually with the rattlesnake vaccination. Rattlesnakes have, in recent years, been migrating into populated areas in Midland County. Check with your veterinary professional to see if the vaccine is available in your area.


22 comments:

t said...

Lots of dogs in our area get bit, this is a good idea. Did you do it this time with Zack? I am not sure if it would work on Pepsi----she has been sprayed 4 times, badly, by a skunk, and it just pissed her off. She has a vendetta against skunks now--goes after them! If she thought the snake caused the shock, I am afraid it would make her mad! Sierra steers clear of snakes!
It seems that the snakes increase in population every year--PETA won't let you control them:)

Terri aka Pepsi's Mom said...

PS, I am not sure if I want to be around when they take the stitches OUT!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Zack has been to the clinic 2 times - and each time, he smelled the snake and kept the trainer between he and the snake. He seemed to naturally know he wasn't supposed to go there.

Zoie and Zanna both were very curious and had to be shocked. But I bet Zanna will remember from now on, she's so very smart!

And, no, I wouldn't want to be around when they take the stitches out, either!

Hey, girl, watch your e-mail for Snapfish, I'm sending you some cool shots of the dogpark.

darsden said...

I cannot stand snakes...water moccasins or rattlesnakes..or grass snakes they are all just the devil in disguise... yuck

Snooty Primadona said...

What a great clinic! Lord knows the animals in these parts need it.

Once when the kids were still little, we were on our way back from a trip to Six Flags & we were all worn out but the kids caught me at a weak moment & talked me into stopping at The Rattlesnake Ranch on I-20. I will never forget that smell for as long as I live, so I can see why the dogs don't need much training to stay away from that. Geeze Looeze!

And, I knew that Zanna Dog was smart from the beginning...

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia - I faced up to a charging grizzly (and blooged it, with a picture) but I don't think I'd want to be around a rattler.

No, seriously!

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Our female rott was bitten by a timber rattler in our backyard a year ago in June. This year we found a snake skin in the front yard... she sniffed it, and walked away with a look that said.. OH SHIT... not again. Hopefully last year's experience put a bit of fear in her regarding snakes. Sure don't want another $3,000 vet bill.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal
Here's the video of her after the bite and a couple of days at the vet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHo1R9lnW4c

Pam said...

Way to go Zanna...and Zack. I'm with the Lab. No way Jose, I am not going there!

sandy said...

good stuff. we came upon a cotton mouth early spring and Miss Zvi stood and pointed and held immediately.yay one for the trainer me- Zarah pacing not so much point..sk

Warped Mind of Ron said...

That's a cool idea and great to protect the puppies. Hmmm.... wonder if they can teach my dog to stop stealing my food when I'm not looking?

Stu Pidasso said...

I like the info on the snake training. Good stuff. When I get my next dog, I'll have him/her snake shocked.

I do know Earnest and have played with him for years. He is in Dallas now and plays on a team in our division. Good dude. And his wife is nice, too.

missy said...

YIKES!!!!!!

thanks for stopping by.......what a very sweet comment you left......you made me smile....just what i needed!!!!!!
THANKS again!!!!!!

Tami said...

OMG! Great post. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as rattlesnake vaccine.

The JRT newsletter I get says that this type of training rarely works with Jacks as it will make them go into a aggression frenzy due to the shocking. I think with Charlotte it would probable not work. But Clarice is pretty soft...it would work. Of course we have Timber rattlers around here...but they are still pretty rare.

UGH...I don't even want to think about having to deal with rattlesnakes.....

Rhonda said...

I don't like snakes or anything, but sewing its mouth shut? Sounds a little sad for the snake! However, great lesson for the dogs!!

I'm happy to report that we don't have rattle snakes here!! Phew!

gaelikaa said...

Didn't know you could get a vaccination against rattlesnake bite! That's great!

lailani said...

Who would have thunk?? That is a great clinic, and it is good to know about the vaccine too!

jay said...

I have heard of these snake clinics and while they seem brutal, for both snake and dog, they are clearly necessary in places where it's likely that your dog will meet a rattler.

Shame they can't find a better way to make the snake safe to have around though. :(

Moannie said...

Which are worse...snakes or spiders? Um...no contest, both as bad as the other and what use are they in the great scheme of things? I am sure that the critters killed by the spider can be easily dealt with by a bird, say. And a snakes prey? Also food for the birds.
Very interesting post though, as long as you don't post closeups of those horrible beasties I shall be back.

TexasRed said...

I had no idea how they de-snaked a dog. This is a great idea.

Willow said...

I am no snake lover and I live smack dab up against some Southern California mountains. I don't hike in the summer. I must have had shock treatment in my early life.

TechnoBabe said...

I don't have a dog but if I did I would make sure the dog was vaccinated.

Brian Miller said...

wow. glad she survived. my 4 year old found a 4 footer the other day...shivers.