Rattlesnake bites

Rattlesnake bites are a veterinary emergency!

Rattlesnake bites inject venom, a complex mixture of toxins, that quickly spreads through a dog’s body. Damage caused by the bite can result in serious injury or even death.  Even if your dog survives the immediate effects of the bite the venom can permanently injure him.

If your pet is bitten by a rattlesnake, seek immediate medical care!

What the Rattlesnake Vaccine does to protect your pet:

There is a way to help protect your pet should they run into a Rattlesnake and get bitten. In recent years a vaccine has been developed specifically to help defend dogs from the dangerous effects of most rattlesnake venom.   When your dog receives the Rattlesnake vaccine, its body generates protective antibodies against the venom. So, if your pet is bitten by a rattlesnake, and is vaccinated, the protective antibodies start neutralizing the venom immediately. This means that vaccinated dogs experience less pain and have a reduced risk of permanent injury from certain rattlesnake bites. Veterinarians typically report that such dogs experience less swelling, less tissue damage and a faster recovery from snakebite than unvaccinated dogs. Vaccination can reduce the impact of the snakebite, reduce the need for the administration of expensive antivenom treatment and decrease other treatment and hospitalization costs as well. 

Rattlesnake Vaccine protocol:

A series of 2 vaccines 30 days apart starts the series. Since full antibody protection is not reach until thirty days following vaccination, the Rattlesnake vaccine needs to be administered at least 30 days before any potential exposure to rattlesnakes. For this reason, we recommend a booster in early March.   In high-risk areas, such as the Palos Verdes Peninsula, pets that are out and about should get a booster vaccine every 6-12 months thereafter.

For additional information:


Blog Category: