Rattlesnakes Vaccinate or not vaccinate?


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by Caroline Cervelli, DVM, MS

Caroline Cervelli, DVM, is Associate Veterinarian at Wellington Vet Hospital.

It’s getting warmer out and we, along with our pets, are spending more and more time outside. The warm weather not only brings people and pets out but also brings out rattlesnakes.

A common question we receive is “should I vaccinate my dog with the rattlesnake vaccine?” The rattlesnake vaccine isn’t for every dog. This vaccine has been associated with significant side effects in some dogs, Smaller dogs being more susceptible than the larger ones. Most common side effects seen are pain over the injection site and abscess formation at the site of the injection.

A rattlesnake bite is a veterinary emergency with or without a vaccine on board. The vaccine helps the body fight the complex mix of toxins that composes the venom. Some animals will still need antivenin to help recover from a bite but the vaccine decreases the signs and symptoms.

To learn more about rattlesnake bites, the vaccine and if it is right for your pet or not, please make an appointment or stop by to see us at Wellington Veterinary Hospital! http://www.wellingtonvets.com/