If you’re a dog parent living in areas of the United States where poisonous snake populations are high, then you may need to consider the rattlesnake vaccine for your pup.
Dogs are outside a lot and in certain regions where snakes are active and roaming, the potential of a run-in with your pet is high. Rattlesnakes live in wetlands, deserts and forests and are most active in warmer seasons.
While playing outdoors, camping or hiking your dog could potentially be bitten by a rattlesnake which could lead to severe injury or even death.
In this article, we’re going to discuss why you should consider having your dog vaccinated against rattlesnakes including how it works and the benefits.
Let’s dig in!
History of the Rattlesnake Vaccine
The Rattlesnake vaccine was first used in California in July 2003 and approved for nationwide use by the USDA in October of 2004.
The organization that developed the vaccine, Red Rock Biologics, writes that rattlesnake bites seriously injure or kill thousands of dogs and horses annually.
“Their venom is a complex mixture of toxins that spreads through an animal’s body.”
Venomous bites can not only potentially kill your dog, but they can also cause serious damage to their brains and bodies if they are to survive the bite.
Treatment for this bite may include anti-venom injections which could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars and could potentially still have adverse affects on your dog’s recovery.
Considering that this is a common occurrence, pet owners should consider having their dogs vaccinated against rattlesnakes.
How The Vaccine Works & Its Benefits
According to Red Rock, this is how the vaccine works:
“Vaccines work by stimulating an animal’s immunity to help defend against potentially harmful agents. The Rattlesnake Vaccine is intended to help create an immunity to protect your dog against the effects of western rattlesnake venom.”
If your dog is bitten by a snake even if they have been vaccinated, you’ll need to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. While the vaccine protects, your dog may still need more treatment to ensure that they don’t develop an infection.
As you can see, the benefit of vaccination is clear in that it could save your pet from suffering a lethal bite. While you can't predict the potential of your dog being bitten, you can do your best to protect them with the vaccine as a precautionary measure.
Talk To Your Veterinarian About The Rattlesnake Vaccine
If you live in an area where the population of rattlesnakes is high, such as the Southwest or Mexico, then you should talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog.
Vaccinations can be extremely beneficial for many diseases and illnesses, but in this case - they can save your dog’s life if they ever encounter a poisonous snake.
Your veterinarian will be able to discuss your options in terms of when to get the vaccine as well as cost. Protecting your pet is the number one priority of being a pet parent and vaccinating them against rattlesnakes is the best line of defense.