Another local pet has fallen victim to a rattlesnake bite in Idyllwild. Nancy and Steve Carter contacted the Town Crier to advise that a rattlesnake had bitten their 7-and-a-half-year-old Red Boston terrier, Rosie, in the eye on Sunday.
The couple rushed Rosie to the Banning Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Mart Westbrook administered the antivenin. “She was in respiratory distress, her eye was swollen with an injury to her cornea, and her tongue was also swollen,” Westbrook said. “She was not experiencing any seizures, as we sedated her immediately.” Despite administering the antivenin, Rosie succumbed to her injury.
This is the second report in less than a month of a pet being killed by a rattlesnake. Lucky, the 50-pound Australian shepherd-mix owned by Kathy Keane was also most likely killed by a Southern Pacific rattlesnake, according to snake authority Dr. William K. Hayes, professor of biology at Loma Linda University, based on Lucky’s symptoms. The venom of the Southern Pacific contains a deadly neurotoxin. The antivenin is not available locally.
The major difference in the two deaths was the location of the dogs’ encounter with the rattlesnakes. Lucky was hiking with Keane at a trail near Delano Road in Idyllwild, while Rosie was on the deck of the Carter’s home in Fern Valley near the Iron Garden on Wayne and Darrell. Nancy is despondent over the death. “Rosie was out on our deck that wraps around our house. Our property is clean, our deck is clean. The snake was behind a storage container.” Steve shot the snake and skinned it. He brought the snake skin to the Town Crier office where it was photographed. “I have lived here 11 years and this is the first rattlesnake I have seen,” he said. The snake was approximately 3 feet long and had eight rattles.
Wildlife Biologist Todd Hoggan identified the snake Steve brought to the Town Crier office (the snake is the same as in the photo accompanying this article) as a Southern Pacific rattlesnake. “It’s the time of year. You’ve got to be really careful where you put your hands, where you walk,” Hogan said.
Keane is working to develop a local foundation to raise funds to purchase and maintain a local supply of the CroFab antivenin (appropriate for treatment of a Southern Pacific rattlesnake or a Mojave green bite), as well as training for a local person to administer the vaccine. For more information, contact Kathy Keane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, July 20, rattlesnake aversion training for dogs will be offered on the Hill by Natural Solutions. For more information, visit http://socalrattlesnakeavoidancetraining.com.