Veterinarians at the Valley Oak Veterinary Center are staying busy, with routine cases, and some more specific to the warm weather, which brings out the rattlesnakes. " We have that warm spring, the sun hits and they start coming out", said Dr. Daniel Gebhart.
In the last two weeks, the veterinary center has seen nearly a dozen dogs that have fallen victim to rattlesnakes. The bites are extremely painful, and in some cases deadly depending on the dogs size and location of the bite. The center does carry the rattlesnake vaccine, which will help with swelling, but veterinarians say the most important thing is getting the dog treatment as soon as possible. " If they've had the rattlesnake vaccine, I still treat them the same way, with anti-venom, fluids, antibiotics, pain medication and then we monitor that swelling", said Gebhart.
That trip to the vet won't be cheap. The antivenin is 850 dollars alone. And the typical bite will set you back anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 when it's all said and done. But without treatment, the the bite could end up costing you your dog's life. " They can go down very quickly if they're not treated within the appropriate time", explained Gebhart.
The majority of snake bites seen at the Valley Oak Veterinary Center have come from Bidwell Park. Veterinarians are warning dog owners to stay vigilant, and keep their four legged friends close by. " Watch your dog, keep your dog on a leash in the park, especially during warmer hours", said Gebhart.