Dog survives rattlesnake attack; veterinarians recommend being extra careful on daily walks

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A dog in Franklin County is okay and recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake two weeks ago. Veterinarians are recommending dog owners pay attention to where their dogs walk in mountainous neighborhoods.

Emily Scott explained how scary it was to have her four-year-old dog, Lola, face a deadly attack.

”If something happens to her... I don’t even know,” Scott said. “She’s our life, our life revolves around her.”

At the end of June, a rattlesnake bit Lola in Franklin County during a daily neighborhood walk.

“She just went off to the side into the woods to use the bathroom and my husband said he heard the snake lunge at her but he didn’t see it,” Scott said. “The rattle didn’t go off.”

Scott and her husband immediately took Lola to an emergency clinic to receive anti-venom treatment. At the Emergency Veterinary & Specialty Services of Roanoke Inc. clinic, the medical officer explained it’s not uncommon to see rattlesnake attacks this time of year.

“The main thing is just getting to the vet,” Maureen Roberts said. “There’s some old wives tales about sucking venom out and things like that but I definitely don’t recommend that. Just get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.”

Nearby in Botetourt County, Pet Health Clinic offers a preventative rattlesnake bite vaccine for dogs for $28.

“It helps prevent morbidity and mortality, so what that means is it can help prevent the severity of the disease,” Dr. Kayla Shelton said.

Experts recommend watching where your dog goes on walks and immediately going to the vet or an emergency clinic if bitten.

“Sometimes they’re just trying to protect you and that’s often why they get bit and we don’t,” Dr. Shelton said.

For dog mom Emily, she’s happy to have Lola home and safe after the attack.

“Truly, minutes count for your dog’s life,” Scott said.

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