MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – A local veterinary hospital is warning pet parents after two dogs were bit by a rattlesnake in Glastonbury.
Pieper Veterinary in Middletown posted on Facebook on Friday that a 3-year-old Vizsla and a 10-year-old Miniature Pinscher mix were outside in their yard when they found a Timber Rattlesnake. The owner found that both dogs were bit in the face.
The 10-year-old dog underwent an emergency tracheostomy to help him breathe when he was brought to the animal hospital.
Both dogs stayed at the hospital to be watched, and after a few days, they were released back to their family.
News 8 spoke to the owners of the dogs following the attack.
“It was a five-foot rattler all coiled up in the strike position,” said Bob Murray.
Bob Murray said he went to his fenced-in wooded area in the backyard to find his dogs, Listo and Tanner, with the rattlesnake.
“I could see the rattlesnake right here. I could see the dogs barking at it and then I took my cane and went, ‘get away,’ and called my wife to get a lease so we could get them up and bring them back in,” Murray said.
Murray and his wife, Lynn, realized the snake attacked their dogs.
“They were barking and barking. We knew immediately they had been bitten. We went through this before. When we got them in the house, we knew both of their faces were swollen,” Lynn said.
Lynn and Bob brought their dogs to Pieper Veterinary because they are one of the few veterinary hospitals in the state that has anti-venom. They have limited quantities because it has a short shelf life.
“Eventually, some of that [venom] gets into the bloodstream and can cause systemic effects. Uncontrolled bleeding, cardiac effects, neurologic effects. Any of those effects can happen minutes to hours afterward,” said Dr. Matthew Turner.
Tanner had one vial and Listo had two vials, according to Lynn.
“Within a couple of hours, they saved their lives,” Lynn said.
Dr. Matthew Turner said rattlesnakes account for the most snake bite deaths in humans and pets.
“Seeing two marks, that’s classic. Generally, the swelling occurs very quickly. if they are painful, swollen, that’s one of the signs it’s a big problem,” Dr. Turner said.
Dr. Turner said you should never approach a rattlesnake.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the timber rattlesnake is extremely rare in the state and is listed as an endangered species. Their venom can cause severe swelling and anaphylaxis and is almost always fatal to dogs and cats without fast, aggressive medical care.
A timber rattlesnake was spotted in Portland on Aug. 14 by Eric McLaughlin. It’s unknown if this is the same snake that attacked the dogs.