Sunday, June 23, 2013

23 June 2013 Too close for comfort

Cassi Creek:  Yesterday, at approximately 1200, Loki was bitten by some brand of venomous snake.  I was within ten feet of her when it apparently happened.  She did not yelp or otherwise indicate pain.  By the time we were back inside, perhaps 5 minutes, she was refusing to put weight on her left rear leg.  Gloria and I went for the obvious, a burr or like object in her paw.  We saw nothing but the leg remained off the floor and contracted. 
          We broadened our exam, found nothing to indicate injury.  Her foot seemed a little swollen but she let us handle it and it didn’t generate any additional pain signals.  We debated possible bites, stings, etc... However, couldn’t really nail a diagnosis.  Loki was lying down and displayed a mild shivering behavior.  She wasn’t feeling good but accepted a dog biscuit when it was offered.   
          Finally, an hour or so into the afternoon we noticed some blood on her foot that had not been there before.  The foot was noticeably swollen by this time.  We called our Veterinarian, closed office, referral to an ER Vet clinic about an hour away.  We called them and started the trip. 
          The initial exam was inconclusive but suggestive for snakebite, only one puncture mark.  Shaving the area and further exam made the diagnosis as probable as it could be without visual confirmation of the event. 
          She was treated with IV antibiotics and fluids to encourage venom excretion.  The clinic is staffed 24/7 and kept her overnight for further observation and fluids.  We picked her up this morning.  She’s not back at 100 % but she’ll recover and was eager to get into the Pathfinder, jumping in without aid.  (I had to lift her in yesterday). 
          The degree of envenomation she suffered must have been extremely low.  We’re happy to have her home with so little damage. 

          This will raise our own concerns about snakes in proximity to the house and the yard.  We have a resident black snake about 6 feet long that we encourage to remain.  Anything venomous is encouraged to depart quickly.  Said policy will not change.

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