Canine rattlesnake vaccine available in CA - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:25 AM   #1
Clay Davenport
Canine rattlesnake vaccine available in CA

New rattlesnake vaccine available


A new vaccine designed to protect dogs from some of the side effects of a rattlesnake bite is now available at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.
The vaccine, not to be confused with rattlesnake antivenin, stimulates the production of antibodies in the dog so that if a bite occurs, the results are less serious.
The vaccine is not suitable for use on animals other than dogs.
Dr. Mark Nagel said, in describing the vaccine, “This is a big help but it is not a silver bullet. We want to make sure a client doesn’t neglect to bring a snake-bitten dog in for treatment, even if the dog has been vaccinated.”
He estimated his hospital has vaccinated 30 or 40 dogs since obtaining the vaccine earlier this year. He said he treated approximately 30 snake-bitten dogs at his clinic alone last season.
The vaccine is a two-injection series followed by an annual booster. The price, as opposed to the extremely costly antivenin, is in line with other common vaccines. The vaccine is available only in California since California has its own procedures for approving veterinary vaccines and therefore does not have to wait for federal approval.
The vaccine works against all types of rattlesnakes found in the foothills. Dr. Nagel said that although the injections could be given any time of year, he hopes clients will bring their dogs in during March and April so that they have maximum protection when the rattlesnake season starts. He said, “This vaccine doesn’t change things if a dog gets bitten. You should still take your dog to the vet for help. But the vaccine should make the outcome much better.”
Oakhurst Veterinary Hos-pital is located at 40799 Hwy. 41 in Oakhurst. The phone number is 683-2135.

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