For the past couple of years our "kids" vet recommended against the rattlesnake vaccine but now seems to be strongly encouraging it now that it's been on the market & pretty well "tested". I just have this niggling feeling about it, though, & I'm hoping to pick your far more educated brains on the subject.
It's my understanding that because our 5 1/2 year old "little girl" was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake when she was only 6 months old that she should NOT get the vaccine &, fortunately, with her last encounter with one of those little #$%^&, she wouldn't get any closer than within 10 feet of it. But that one rattled & the far smaller ones don't (because they don't have any rattles) so that's a major concern.
It's my understanding, too, that baby rattlers are considered more dangerous because they've yet to learn how to regulate how much venom to inject & inject more venom than their older & wiser kin who restrict the amount of venom injected (to insure they have a reserve for any prey they might encounter).
It's also my understanding that even with the vaccine a bitten dog still requires immediate emergency vet care & that the vaccine merely lessens the toxic reaction & only to a fairly minor extent. And I've heard that with each subsequent bite the reaction gets worse, but you can't give the vaccine to a dog that's been bitten before - yet they (those that are now at higher risk due to their history), shouldn't get the vaccine?
And then that leaves us with our lovable little 4 year old dufus, who I'm afraid would run up to one, excitedly introduce himself & ask to play! He is skittish about NOTHING so I was WAY encouraged when I inadvertently recreated a sound much like a rattlesnake's "rattle" when raising our blinds recently (in a very slight breeze). Our "little guy" skadaddled out of the room, worriedly looking over his shoulder like his tail was on fire - but again, it was the "rattle" sound that caught his attention.
Both "kids" tip the scale at about 55 pounds, a lab mix & a Border Collie mix &, as mentioned, one is 5 1/2 (with a previous history of been bitten), & the other one is (almost) 4 years old. Has anyone here had any personal experience with the vaccine & your "kids"? - - Thanks!
***Edited By: Lucky Lady on 6/20/2008 12:44:18 PM*** Reason: *
Dogs have taught me all I need to know about life, love, loyalty, & laughter; & (heartbreakingly), loss & "letting go" of a loved one as well. God bless ‘em…