Glastonbury dogs bitten by rattlesnake are doing well, owner says

“They stopped some of their more severe medications,” which required them to use the bathroom every hour, owner Robert Murray said.

Over the past week, Tanner, a 3-year-old Vizsla, and Listo, a 10-year-old Miniature Pinscher mix, recovered at home after being bitten by a venomous timber rattlesnake while playing in the their garden two weeks ago. .

Murray rushed the dogs to Pieper Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Middletown, where they were given anti-venom and other medication to treat their extreme facial swelling.

Listo, the smaller of the two dogs, also underwent an emergency tracheotomy because the swelling closed off his trachea and restricted his breathing, the hospital said.

Murray said he was lucky Pieper had antivenom, which most Connecticut veterinary hospitals don’t stock because it’s expensive and has a short shelf life.

Since the woods are protected under Connecticut’s endangered species law, Murray said “it would be wonderful” if the state partially compensated him for the dogs’ hospital bill, which was $100. $15,000.

“The state pays a lot of money to protect these animals,” he said. “The state should put money aside for people who have been attacked.”

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the timber rattlesnake and northern copperhead are the only two species of venomous snakes found in Connecticut.

Because his house adjoins the Meshomasic State Forest – where some of these rattlesnakes reside Murray said he had encountered them before on or near his property. He also had another Viszla who had been bitten about five or six years ago.

To prevent snakes from crawling into his garden, Murray said he plans to install chicken wire along the six-foot fence that separates his property from the forest. The reinforced fence should prevent snakes from entering his land.

A snake ecologist has since reviewed and approved the fence arrangement, Murray said.

“It’s a real fluke – chances are it’s not something that happens every day,” Murray told the environmentalist. “This snake was on its way somewhere and your dogs cut it off,” the conservationist said.

“The snake used its defense mechanism to attack them,” Murray explained.

According to DEEP Wildlife biologist Brian Hess,

Connecticut’s venomous rattlesnakes are “legitimately no threat to people”. In fact, snakebites are so rare in the state that the agency doesn’t track them, he added.

“Snakes, in all situations, will view humans or a dog as a predator and try to defend themselves against it,” Hess said.

Hess said the snakes are extremely important to the state’s native ecosystem. And unless provoked – or hunting for food – these reptiles are also quite docile.

“Snakes won’t go out of their way to attack,” Hess said.

Since going public, Murray said he’s seen a “very positive” reaction from people who are grateful for how this type of incident should be handled.

He said the goal is to make people aware that timber rattlesnakes inhabit certain parts of the state, and also to encourage them to take precautions with their animals.

“Don’t let your dogs roam there,” Murray advised. “If you walk them in the woods, keep them on a leash.”

If an animal is bitten by a poisonous rattlesnake, “Go to an emergency hospital immediately – don’t go to your local veterinarian,” he said. “You don’t have much time.”

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