Rattlesnake Vaccine for Dogs

When it comes to vaccinations for your dog, the rattlesnake vaccine is something that you may want to consider.

Reasons for Getting the Rattlesnake Vaccine for Your Dog

A bite from a rattlesnake is more common an occurrence than rabies and more likely to be fatal to your dog, so vaccinating him could make all the difference between life and death. Rattlesnake bites are twenty-five times more dangerous to dogs than to humans, and even if your dog survives a bite, he risks a high chance of life-time damage. Vaccinations are especially important if you live in an area where rattlesnakes are common or if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, such as heavily wooded areas. If you aren't sure whether rattlesnakes are common in your area, do some research online.

How the Vaccine Works

The rattlesnake vaccination works by prompting your dog's immune system to create more antibodies to help fight the venom found in the bite.

Vaccines are different than an anti-venom, which is administered after a dog has been bitten. While vaccines are preventative measures that encourage a dog's body to create his own antibodies, anti-venom is the injection of another animal's antibodies into your dog to help fend off the poison.

How it Protects a Dog 

The vaccine uses the extra antibodies that it produces to offer quicker recovery times, less severe symptoms, the delay of any symptoms at all and to lower mortality rate.

Side Effects of Rattlesnake Vaccine

Side effects to this vaccine are considered to be especially rare and are usually mild, requiring no trip to the veterinarian to clear it up. These side effects include:

  • Minor pain
  • Swelling at the site of injection

These symptoms should go away within a day or two on their own or you can give your pet something to help them along, such as a warm compress for the swelling or pain medication. However, if the side effects do not go away after a couple of days or get worse, then it is important that you take your dog to see the veterinarian to ensure he is not having an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Other Information about Rattlesnake Bites

It is important to remember that rattlesnake bites are still a very serious incident, with or without the vaccination. Even if you have your dog vaccinated, it is a good idea to take him to the veterinarian if he has been bitten by a rattlesnake.

You should also keep in mind that this vaccine, like all vaccines, may not necessarily work as well in some dogs as it does in others. There are also special circumstances that can still spell a quick fatality for your dog, such as your dog being tiny or your dog being bitten repeatedly by rattlesnakes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this vaccine is for the rattlesnake only. It will not help protect against other snake bites and if you pet is bitten, he needs to see a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible.