snakebite, day 2

I took a couple of pictures of Rocko yesterday afternoon, one showing his bloody lip and the other showing the pouch of fluid under his neck. We have concluded that he was probably bitten by a copperhead. Our Cherokee friends, who have a lot of experience with snakebit dogs, say that he would have died pretty quickly if it had been a timber rattler.

The folks next door caught a small copperhead yesterday afternoon, and of course they killed it. That's what they do. Our Cherokee friends wouldn't have done the same; they appreciate the fact that copperheads keep the rodent population down. I wouldn't have killed it either. A timber rattler I might kill, but then again probably not. We are all part of the great web of life and we all play our roles - snakes included.

Rocko's bloody lip. He's in a lot of pain at this point.

Rocko's swollen throat.

This morning I found that Rocko's extreme pain had abated. His lip is still seeping dark brown blood, but I was able to palpate his lip and neck without obvious pain. We're keeping him on a Benadryl regimen, 25mg every four hours.

Not too long ago I was reading about a dog with a copperhead bite* on the Hickory Head Hermit blog. I'll be going back to that and reading up on his experience.

* Oops, that was a cottonmouth bite. We don't have them way up here.


  1. That doesn't look too bad at all, for a snake bite! I like your web of life philosophy.

  2. Thanks, Mike. We were freaking out yesterday but are, as my other post said, watching and waiting. I'll be posting today's photos shortly.

  3. I feel bad for Rocko but I wish people would just leave the snakes alone. The critters are just trying to protect themselves and are not being agressive.
    One of our neighbors found and killed a beautiful corn snake in his yard. When I asked why he killed it he said "all snakes need to be killed". I didn't try to reason with him, if he thinks that way he could not be trained oto think otherwise.