Thursday 9.23.10 – approx 5:30PM: Nancy, Bodi and Oliver were out on the trails for a evening walk, Nancy originally was not going to take them as her foot is still healing from the last time that – chasing something in the backyard – the boys had damaged her foot by using it for traction with their claws as they took off.
Doing her big loop in an area that we call Valhalla, she was going to cut it short and head back, but felt that as long as she was out and about she might as well take the slightly longer loop through the trail in the field and then back – give the boys a little longer walk since she had not been out as often with the sore foot.
Bodi and Oliver, unlike Tucker, will try to go after anything that moves, seeing a lizard on the trail is dangerous as they will turn on a dime and lunge into the brush, certain that they will catch the critter – and actually never even coming close. Due to this, Nancy always keeps them on a short leash and works hard to keep them out of the brush – smart girl there. I, as men do, let them off leash and deal with the consequences.
Because we take the boys out on the trails so often, and we have seen Rattle Snakes, we chose to get both of the boys hooked up with the Rattle Snake Vaccine. Unlike what most people think – the vaccine doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry if they get bitten, but it does give you more time before the major damage hits, which gives you a better chance to get to the doctor before your dog is very badly messed up. We can’t tell you for certain that the vaccine made a difference – Tucker never had the vaccine, and never got bitten, but if it made this even 1/1000th easier on Bodi by having it – it was well worth it, many times over.
So, back to the walk… Coming down the trail Bodi spots something and dives into the brush – Nancy pulls him back and instructs “LEAVE IT”, Oliver, now at the edge of the brush while Bodi is being reprimanded, starts batting at something with his paws – doing his best cat imitation. Nancy looks at what he is swatting at and sees the tail end of a rattle snake, “beating feet” as they say, leaving the scene.
Nancy pulls the pups close and starts to check them out, all looks well, and due to the fact that neither dog yelped, she feels like she has dodged a big one and things are OK. Taking one more quick look, she notices what looks like a small amount of blood on Bodi’s cheek, and two puncture wounds. Bodi still hasn’t given any reaction that he has been bitten, and is still ready to walk.
Nancy heads back and has to walk the 2 – 3 hundred yards back to the Jeep, her first reaction is that she should carry Bodi – but walking 2 dogs kind of rules that out – and Bodi, at just under 60 lbs. is still a bit of a carry for 300 yards up and down hills, over the trails. Within a short distance, Bodi starts to slow – and by the time he is about 50 yards away, is very slow, and salivating uncontrollably.
Nancy calls me shortly after the bite and lets me know what has happened, I call the nearest Vet and am informed that there are no doctor’s there at the moment – and gives instructions to go to the Animal Hospital. I call our good friend, and Bodi and Oliver’s normal doctor, Dr. Berry and he instructs me that we should head straight to his clinic, Agoura Animal Clinic
– he would notify same and since he was off that day, they would be ready when Nancy got there. We would normally head straight to Agoura Animal Clinic
, but since they are about 3 times as far away as the nearest clinic – we tried the nearest first.
I was at the clinic waiting for Nancy when she pulled up, and I got Bodi out of the Jeep. He was quite out of it by this time, with drool running out of his mouth. I carried him straight into the clinic and Dr Kane had Bodi on an IV, had anti venom into him, and checked everything out on Oliver as well, just to be sure that he hadn’t gotten nicked at the same time.
At this time Bodi’s face was starting to swell slightly, but they were surprised that he didn’t look worse. Since Nancy got him there so quickly he was just at the very beginning of the swelling that we would see over the next couple of days.
Once they were certain Bodi had stabalized, they gave us the rundown on Bodi, informed us that since we would be watching Bodi closer then anyone else throughout the night, sent us home with Bodi hooked up to a portable IV unit.
Unbelievably, throughout this entire ordeal, Bodi has not yelped, has not growled, has not whimpered – he went through it like a real trooper, and the only time we heard even the slightest whimper from him was when we would nudge his face while working on the IV – or when he had to go out to go to the bathroom and was trying to let us know.
Bodi was placed on the bed hooked up to the machine, drugs running through his system, and he pretty much stayed that way all night, while I stayed up and watched him to make sure that he got his antibiotics and pain killers at the prescribed times. It was a very long night for me – and I am sure, twice as long for Bodi.
The swelling was going strong throughout the night, and as of now – 2 days later, it still hasn’t stopped, it has slowed a bit – but hasn’t stopped. The swelling has moved down his face, throughout his chest, down his front leg, has bruised throughout the chest and leg area, it’s unbelievable how it has taken him. As of now, 2 days later he has trouble even walking from the swelling, and still, not a peep out of him from the pain. His face swelling has come down a bit, but he still can’t eat regularly due to the pain and swelling.
Oliver has been as careful as can be, he hasn’t tried to play with Bodi, has stepped aside when Bodi comes through and has spent a lot of time sniffing his wounds, and licking his face and body. The toughest part was when Bodi was at the clinic and laying on the blanket while they attended to him, Oliver kept trying to slide over to sit and/or lay down next to him, always trying to be a part of everything Bodi is going through.
So now – it’s just a matter of letting the toxins run their course, letting his little body fight what is going on – and spoiling him rotten with our caring and love.