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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is to share info on dangerous wild animals that can harm your dog, etc, and training or treatment.

Living near Los Angeles in a nature interface area, we see rattlesnakes once a year, but we know there are many we don't see. We had Bella Rattlesnake aversion trained at a local place, the trainers were High On Kennels from San Diego. They also train bird dogs.

They use 3 or more live unharmed/ natural large rattlesnakes with pvc tubes snuggly fitted over their heads. You give your dog to the trainer, they tightly fit a shock collar. (Bella has never worn a shock collar) Across a short bridge she went to learn sight, sound and smell.
At the 1st snake Bella ran up to smell she got the shock of her life: all 4 feet 3 feet off the ground. I almost died. Do you think she approached the other snakes???? Noooooo. The last snake she wouldn't even pass by 6' away! And you reaffirm the training 1-2 years later, do you think she wanted to cross the bridge??? Nooooo.

One day Michael was up in the shop 60 yards away and heard a strange bark. There was Bella up on her tippy toes on the porch, with a rattler there 3 feet away against the house.

There was a baby rattlesnake ( they are worse, release out all their venom) in the dark by the porch and they both averted enough for us to realize what it was. Could Bella have informed Loki? We would like to get Loki trained, the High On people are coming to nearby in March! :). It is 85$.
We take our dogs out 3 or 4 times a week hiking off leash nearby. I know some people would consider that poor pet parenting, but we feel that they get a very enjoyable life with us, and hope for the best. Bella is now 9. They both get Rattlesnake vaccine and are health insured. Saving a dog from a Rattler bite can go above 5k in costs.
 

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Why poor pet parenting?? If I lived in rattlesnake country I think that would be $85 very well spent. I live in Costa Rica and the only venomous snakes on my property are corals and they are very shy and small. But other areas have lots, including rattlers and fer-de-lance, and if I lived in those parts I would for sure do aversion training!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why poor pet parenting?? If I lived in rattlesnake country I think that would be $85 very well spent. I live in Costa Rica and the only venomous snakes on my property are corals and they are very shy and small. But other areas have lots, including rattlers and fer-de-lance, and if I lived in those parts I would for sure do aversion training!
Yes the 85$ to High On Kennels is a no brainer. I am so happy that Loki will be trained by them, as devastating as it is to watch. By poor pet parenting I meant regarding letting them run free in Rattler territory.
As far as Bella teaching Loki, I am reminded of a great story by Ernst Thompson Seton about a little coyote and how she passed her knowledge from the school of hard experience on to her pups.
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Edit: Fixed my mistakes from typing on Mobile initially. Added more details.
My experience with rattlesnakes is when Logan actually got struck on the nose. He was out helping put up the chickens, and stuck his nose right down to it without anyone noticing. No rattle/warning. He never even cried, just ran back to the house, which is normal. My brother noticed it first because he immediately hid in his room.
Here’s maybe ten minutes after?

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He doesn’t have the vaccine for it, and when places open back up (whenever that happens) we’re getting his aversion training refined (and maybe a vaccine). I think the place I have uses snakes that have been de-fanged? They start with scent on towels so they know the scent means danger. My other dog has been trained there as well.

It took us about an hour to get him to the emergency clinic since we live so far out, but we gave him a couple Benadryl right before we left. This was around 8:30 PM when we left, 15-30 minutes after it was noticed.
This was when we got there. It only took them a few minutes to take him back, and we weren't allowed inside.
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Due to Covid, we had to wait outside until somewhere around 3:00 AM. And we didn’t want to leave, it would have added on a couple hundred for boarding, and we'd likely be called to pick him up probably an hour or two after we got home anyway.
They said he was stable and it hadn’t gone any further than swelling his face, so they bumped him to the end of the emergency list. There weren't many other dogs there, but they still took ages even giving us updates. It's difficult only being able to communicate through calls, in the middle of the night outside in an unfamiliar area.


He was brought out very drunk.
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I paid half of his treatment cost, and my mother paid the other half. Together it was nearly $1000 for the Antivenin and medications.
During my next work day (As you can imagine, I took the following day off), I brought him into work with me. I was paranoid and didn’t want to leave him alone in the house, and I usually bring him anyway. He’s still looking very sad. But he got lots of pets and attention. He does have a bed and toys in my office, but he still chooses to lay on the floor, and I'm not sure why.

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This whole thing happened August 23, 2020, and even now he has a small scar on his muzzle from the fang he got hit with.
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So I’d encourage others to get their dogs aversion training when they can, especially in high risk areas. The $60-$100 is well worth it compared to the stress (to you and your dog) and medical costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for sharing your story, Arizona Ranger, about Logans snake bite. We are very glad he made it through great with a bite so close to his nose and breathing channels:) Very interesting and useful information! I would consider a different trainer, as it seems that the training he got possibly didn't work well enough.

I can totally relate to the parking lot service at the emergency vet due to Covid restrictions, because Bella was viciously attacked by another dog last June.
 
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