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Rattlesnake Vaccine for Dogs

Dogs and Cataracts

Owning a pet involves keeping them safe and as healthy as possible. Regardless of how careful we are, our animals may still encounter dangers and health threats throughout the course of their lives. Although rattlesnake bites are not something we often consider, they can be a serious veterinary emergency, and rattlesnakes can be found in various habitats. Rattlesnake bites can cause not just serious health risks but also death if not treated promptly, and pet owners do not always know if their animal has been bitten by a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, just in the U.S. alone, there are about 300,000 cats and dogs bitten by poisonous snakes every year. Luckily, there is a rattlesnake vaccine, Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine, that can save your pet’s life.

About the Vaccine

It’s important to learn as much as possible about the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine also known as Crotalus Atrox Toxoid. Red Rock Biologics created the vaccine. When a rattlesnake bites an unvaccinated dog, what happens is that the poison (venom), which contains harmful toxins, can cause the dog extreme pain as well as serious aftereffects.

Even dogs that manage to survive the bite can have permanent damage from the snake’s venom. Using the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine eliminates many if not all of these risks. Most conscientious dog owners don’t wish to have their dog vaccinated if they’re unfamiliar with a vaccine, or if it’s new on the market.

While there may not be years and years of data regarding the vaccine, there is sufficient information to warrant giving your dog the vaccination. Although its use is to protect the dog from the bite of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, it does not offer protection against the Water Moccasin, the Coral Snake or the Mojave Rattlesnake.

How the Rattlesnake Vaccine Works

When a dog is vaccinated, it provides the dog with enough antibodies to neutralize the venom from the snake bite. It not only reduces the pain the dog feels from the bite but also decreases the chance of the dog having permanent damage from the bite. However, a veterinarian should still see the dog as soon as possible even if the dog did receive the vaccination.

Because the antibodies don’t offer full protection until they’ve been in the body for a month after the vaccination, it’s important that the dog is vaccinated at least a month before any possible exposure to rattlesnakes, according to Dr. Paula Ibsen, a veterinarian affiliated with Red Rock Biologics.

Rattlesnake Vaccine Cost

When vaccinating a dog, one of the biggest concerns of dog owners is the cost of the vaccination. Although the price can vary by veterinary service, the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine is relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider that it can save a dog’s life. The initial cost of the vaccination is about $25 plus the fee for the examination.

The follow-up booster, which comes about four weeks later, generally also costs about $25. The dog should receive the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine every six months thereafter as part of its annual or bi-annual vaccination schedule. In light of how expensive some veterinary services can be, most dog owners feel the cost of the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccine to be very affordable, especially when compared to the cost of treatment for a bite to an unvaccinated dog.

If an unvaccinated dog is bitten by a rattlesnake, the dog will need to be treated with an anti-venom, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Anti-venom medication can also cause serious aftereffects, which can add additional problems to the dog’s recovery. In serious cases, the dog owner may need to pay for the following.

  • IV therapy
  • Medications
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Post-surgical care

Using the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccination cannot only decrease the cost of treatments but can also eliminate or decrease the need for anti-venom and reduce the effect of the snake bit altogether.

Concerns with the Vaccine

Despite the many positive factors of the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccination, many veterinarians still share concerns about the vaccine. Some will not openly endorse the vaccination because of the lack of scientific information on this specific vaccine. The lack of specific information has some questioning the effectiveness and safety of the product.

The main purpose of a vaccine is to decrease the time from when the dog is bit to the time the necessary antibodies are produced. When a snake bites a dog, the dog doesn’t always have the time required for antibody production, and the anti-venom must be given as soon as possible. Veterinarians aren’t 100% positive that the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccination will promote the production of enough antibodies quickly enough to counteract the venom.

They also are difficulty getting immunologists or internist to openly endorse the product just yet. There are also some reports of dogs that did receive the vaccine not recovering as quick as expected. However, there are not enough scientific reports to get a true reading. Also, not all snake bites result in the dog being injected with venom, so they have no way of knowing if a bitten dog was actually injected with venom or if the dog would have been O.K. even without the vaccination.

Lastly, the vaccine may cause reactions in certain dogs. Because of the lack of real knowledge regarding the Red Rock Rattlesnake Vaccination, giving or not giving the vaccination has come down to a personal choice by the dog owner. If you live in rattlesnake country, then the benefits may far outweigh the risks.