Have any of you gotten your dog vaccinated against rattlesnake venom? We are definitely in rattler country, and my vet tech mentioned it today at Sidney's checkup.

I thought I'd ask here before deciding. It's only $20 per vaccination; they get two the first year (4 weeks apart) and then a booster every year. It does not mean that the dog will suffer no ill effects if he is bitten, but it will buy you valuable time. This would be especially handy if we were 3-4 miles out on the trail when the first 1/2 hour is crucial.

According to the vet tech, the one possible side effect is swelling at the injection site.

I'm hoping someone here might have experience in this area. I wanted to renew his avoidance training that he got two years ago, but our trainer passed away from a heart attack last year. :(

Sidney passed his physical exam with flying colors. And he weighs in at 29.4 pounds at nearly 3 years of age.

Views: 135

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have no idea but it sounds like a great thing (even if I'm not fond of vaccines) this seems like a very important one! Good luck and I will be reading to see what people say also! I am glad we don't have rattlers near us!
I actually did not know there was a vac for it. I know about the new flu that's going around but I think that's great.

If we camped out a lot more/hiked more in the mountains around here I would probably consider it myself after researching a little bit more (how much time does it buy.. side affects... reviews).
As I remembered from the reading I have done, the vaccine needs to be updated every 6 month or so. Also, it is not 100% effective, the bitten dog still needs to be treated, though the dogs' reaction to the venom would be much less severe, and less likelihood to be fatal. I guess you just need to weigh the cost and benefits of the vaccine against the antivenin treatment when bitten.
Yes, that's what I wrote; not 100% effective but it buys time. With the weight Sidney is at, he'd need to be re-vaccinated once a year.
I'd say if you're high risk for your dog getting bitten I'd definitely get it. We offer those shots at the clinic I work at and not a lot of people get them but we're right in the city so it's not really that high a risk for rattle snakes. If you do go hiking on a 3-4 mile trail, like you said, I think you should get it. I think the smaller a dog is the worse a rattler bite can be on the animal so with a corgi I feel like for 20 bucks the shot would be worth it. Your pup may never get bitten but I think it would give you some peace of mind when hiking
Thanks Monica. Have you heard of any bad side effects from getting the vaccine? That's the only thing giving me the slightest doubt, but from what I've researched, it seems very safe.

We're increasing the distances we hike, as both Sid and I get in better shape. Thinking of tackling a 7.2 miler soon, so I think I should get him that vaccine soon.
I was looking for answers to another question and stumbled upon this post. I had to join to share our experience with the rattlesnake vaccine.

My wife hikes with our Corgi (Tesni) and a friend+ her dog in the Santa Monica mountains several times a week. She opted for the vaccine just to be safe. Last summer on a morning hike, our curious corgi decided to sniff at something laying on the side of the trail. BAM! Right in the snout...a bite from a baby rattler.

She was rushed to the vet and given the antidote, but looked so good we took her home that evening (although they recommended giving more bags of the expensive antidote).

By the next morning, Tesni was in the backyard chasing the cat and barking at the squirrels as if nothing had happened. You couldn't tell she had been bitten, although the swelling on her snout lasted a few days. I would say that it is worth it :)

Here is my understanding of the vaccine, but check with your vet to be sure. What Geri and David already posted seems pretty spot on. The vaccine only slows things down and gives you time to get to the vet. It doesn't mean you are totally safe and don't have to worry about getting any further treatment. Additionally, you need yearly booster shots to maintain effectiveness. I hope this helps!
WOW! I haven't heard of this, surprised our vet has not mentioned as we are 25 miles from town and in rattlesnake country. I will definately look into it, thank you for bringing this up!
Thank you for the info, Jerry! I did get him the vaccine, and he had no side effects. He'll be getting the booster soon. We also found a place for him to have a refresher snake avoidance session. Without avoidance training, Sidney would walk right up to a snake, just like Tesni did!
I hadn't heard of this! I live south east of Tuscon and Gwenie the Fearless loves to walk in the desert with us. Baby rattlesnakes are most dangerous. I am ringing up our Vet today. Her life is so important to me we love her dearly she is our baby girl.
I had no idea that there was such a thing as a snake bite vaccine. I will check with Bear's Vet about it. We are sometimes forced to walk Bear in some pretty scarry places and he just can't keep his nose out of the bushes. Thanks for the post!!!


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2023   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service