Pet Safety in SoCal: Rattlesnakes

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Living in California is the dream of everyone in the country who doesn’t live here, right? Well of course! But all that fun in the amazing weather comes with a price. More and more in California, the presence of rattlesnakes and other poisonous snakes is on the rise. According to the OC Register, rattlesnake bites are on the rise in California but especially in southern California. Dry weather plus abundant food sources have made rattlesnakes very happy and the number is expected to grow through the next few years.

“With warm weather, rattlesnakes are more likely to be found on hiking trails and sunning in rural areas,” the news alert reads. “Even baby rattlesnakes possess dangerous venom as soon as they hatch.”

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What does this mean for you and your furry friend? Dogs seem to find rattlesnakes easier than finding a needle in a haystack. Rattlesnake bites are always an emergency. The toxic venom can quickly kill a pet. Rattlesnake bites happen fast and sometimes you can not see anything bigger then a pencil tip sized hole. This makes quick action the key to saving your pets life difficult. Rattlesnake bites in dogs are 25% more lethal than in humans, but there is a vaccine that can help give a pet owner time to get Fido emergency care after being bitten.

According to Methow Hospital: “A Rattlesnake vaccine is a preventative medicine whereas antivenin is a treatment for rattlesnake bites. The vaccine stimulates a dog to create his own antibodies to rattlesnake venom that will protect him from bites that happen in the future. Antivenin is antibodies made from another animal (usually a horse or sheep) that are injected into a dog after he is bitten by a venomous snake. Rattlesnake vaccine is laboratory tested, the government approved and has been used in over one hundred thousand dogs over many years. Thousands of veterinary clinics nationwide recommend this vaccine for dogs at risk. The side effects are rare and typically very mild. About 1% of dogs may get a temporary lump at the injection site that doesn’t bother the dog and goes away by its self in a few weeks. Temporary flu-like symptoms are reported in about one in 3,000 vaccinations and other miscellaneous symptoms are reported in fewer than one in 15,000 vaccinations. These systemic symptoms are rare and don’t appear to have any pattern, so it is possible that many are coincidental and unrelated to the vaccine use. Even the most severe side effect reasonably attributable to the vaccine is likely to be much easier for a veterinarian to treat than a moderate rattlesnake bite.”

Having the vaccine for your pet doesn’t mean your dog is actually safe from the toxic venom. It means the dog’s body has some defenses so you can get him the emergency help he needs to continue to fight off the toxic qualities that make rattlesnakes so dangerous. So if you are considering walking your dog on trails or hikes from April to October you may want to talk to your vet about the vaccine!

Places to shop with your pet!

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In California, we love our pets. We also love having them with us as much as possible enjoying the weather and the abundant sunshine! Thankfully there are many places in CA where you can get some retail therapy and have Fluffy with you! Check out our list of great places to shop with your pet!

  • In need of a garden hose? You can shop with your pet at The Home Depot and at Tractor Supply Stores!
  • Take a Sunday stroll through the Seaside Bazaar in Encinitas, CA and find that antique you’ve been searching for.
  • The Shoppes At Chino Hills in Chino Hills, CA has many different boutiques that are dog and human friendly!
  • Have a hankering for the Outlet store? Carlsbad Outlets lets you bring your pet along to find the steals and deals!
  • But the best of the best is Seaport Village in Sunny San Diego, CA. San Diego is known for its love of all things dog, so take a trip this weekend and show your pet the world!

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