Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

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Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by milspecmark » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:30 am

We backpacked out to Jailhouse rock friday and camped out there planning to climb jailhouse rock all day sat. Sat. morning I was setting some webbing around a couple trees so we could reppel down to the bottom and my dog Ruger jumped back and started acting like he got stung by a bee on the face. When I looked at him, I saw a small gash next to his eye. I went over to the bush he darted away from and peered inside only to find an adult copperhead snake. I did a quick google search for small dogs (he weighs 9 lbs.) and the first thing I read said that small dogs usually die within 2 hours. My wife asked, "what did it say?" I said "It says we need to get the dog to the vet right now!". I quickly grabbed my pack, and the dog and my wife and I started hiking out. About 30 minuites into the hike, Ruger was struggling for his life, hard to breath, crying, gagging, etc. Big thanks to Aaron from the Rockhouse who we called and he imediatly called his Vet in winchester Dr. Smith who was at his childs soccer game and his office was closed. Dr. Smith said he would meet us at his office in Winchester and fix him up, but he said "timeing is everything, you have to get him here quick". Well, 125mph down mountain parkway got us from Jail house rock to the vet in 1 hour and 40 min. Dr. smith gave Ruger Injections of Pregnizone, anti biotics, and benadryl and Ruger started to get better. His face was pretty swollen and he was sick most of yesterday, but he is doing much better today.
Now we are trying to come up with a action plan on how to handle these snakes in the future because we see so many of these copperheads down there. Do any of you folks carry the injections in your first aid kit? Any thoughts?

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by dsmithdsp » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:49 am

My dog sniffed out one a few weeks ago on the trail to funk rock. Luckily, I had her on a tight leash and she reacted to the snake before she or it was close enough to strike. I didn't get a good look at it before it slithered away, but I am pretty sure it was a copperhead.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by milspecmark » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:57 am

I think keeping your dog on a 6 foot leash is a good idea. When tieing them off, I am going to do a thourough perimeter search. That snake was so hard to see

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by dustonian » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:02 am

An hour and 40 minutes from Jailhouse to Winchester?? Glad your dog made it.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by milspecmark » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:15 am

Dog was bit at 10:40. It took us 5 or ten minuites to figure out what happened. Had to administer first aid on dog (5 min) Hike 1.5 miles with backpack, drive down tunnel ridge rd (4 miles), drive down 11 (4miles). 32 miles on mountain parkway at 125 mph, 4 miles on 94, 2 miles and 7 traffic lights to vet. Waited 5 min. for dr. Smith to arrive, so yeah it added up.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by Jeff » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:54 am

Our dog was bit at What About Bob Wall in the PMRP when he was about 7 months old.
We rushed him to Beattyville on a Sunday. Got lucky and found Ted Cundiffs office open. He did the antibiotic injection, lasix (sp?), antibiotic pills, etc.
Took Banjo to our holistic vet as soon as we got home and he made a full/fast/remarkable recovery.
There are two vets in Beattyville. One Is Minters, open on Sat, the other being Cundiffs, open from around 10am-2pm on Sundays.
A search on here might get you good directions, and Ray has included the info in his guidebook.
Best of luck to Ruger!

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by Meadows » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:09 am

I've been through this twice with each dog I have. The first was a more severe bite and his chest puffed up really bad that I thought he would stop breathing, but I got him over to Minter's in Beattyville (just before DQ) who administered all that you mentioned. I had benedryl with me, which I gave my dog before we left the cliff. Dr. Minter was great and since you climb during open hours, keep his number and hours of operation on hand. The total cost of the bill was only $39, btw.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by milspecmark » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:22 am

That is great info guys, thank you. I am making a list of names and phone numbers and putting them in my first aid kit.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by ted » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:25 am

milspecmark wrote:
Now we are trying to come up with a action plan on how to handle these snakes in the future because we see so many of these copperheads down there. Do any of you folks carry the injections in your first aid kit? Any thoughts?

Id like to hear a little more on the action plan if anyone has some good idea's. My biggest concern is on long trail runs or hike's, I cant count how many times Ive almost been bit . Ive always wondered if an epi pen would buy some time in the event of a snake bite in the backcountry, but I may be way off.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by Jeff » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:58 am

In your case Winchester may have been a closer, more direct route milspecmark. Like Meadows mentioned, I thought we would spend over $100 at Cundiffs. The bill came to less than $30.00!
Ted, I'd look into a pair of snake gators. I know a few people who've been bit by copperheads and in those cases I believe your best best is a bigger city.
I have heard Jackson offers excellent care for snakebite victims, it being more in the heart of copperhead country than Winchester or Lexington. Having said that, I'm sure you can find good care in Winchester/Lex.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by Meadows » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:01 pm

According to many sites like this, an epipen can be useful to both you and a dog: http://www.wildlife-education.com/blog/ ... -your-pet/

I also know that [for dogs] there is a rattler vaccine, which is useful especially out west. It doesn't stop the toxin, but it does buy time to treatment by slowing it. I don't think one is available for copperheads.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by J-Ru » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:34 pm

Meadows wrote:According to many sites like this, an epipen can be useful to both you and a dog: http://www.wildlife-education.com/blog/ ... -your-pet/.
I have read the opposite and that epinephrine (adrenaline) could actually make matters worse by increasing your heart rate and spreading the venom more quickly. The body's reaction to a venomous snake bite is not an allergic reaction, although I guess one could also be allergic to the venom.

https://www.healthtap.com/#user_questio ... mous-snake

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by Meadows » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:41 pm

That makes sense.

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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by ted » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:50 pm

only one way to find out
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Re: Dog Bit by Copperhead on Jailhouse Rock

Post by milspecmark » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Would a vet give you a prescription for the pegnazone, antibiotic, and benedryl so we could carry them in our first aid kits?

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