By Shela Boyton
ARF of Idyllwild

Friday, July 27, a little terrier was rushed to Sadie’s Clinic after being bitten by a rattlesnake. We administered Benadryl and sent the frantic owner to Hemet, thinking she could get treatment there. Unfortunately, at the places they checked, that was not the case; by the time they arrived at the emergency clinic in Murrieta, it was too late to save the dog.

We’ve done some research and found the closest facilities that keep one dose on hand: The Small Animal Hospital (information below); Dr. Frazier in Anza, 763-2343; Pets Vet, 929-6688. Call first to be sure they actually have a dose available.

Any dog who has been bitten needs to be rushed immediately to the nearest full-service facility. The anti-venom costs between $800-$1000, and you have a very small window of time to get help.

Sadie’s Clinic staff is investigating how it might be better prepared to help the community with this; any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Clients who have gotten the series of rattlesnake vaccines and followed up with a yearly booster are reporting success. With a couple of months left in the season, we are advising that dogs at risk receive the vaccine. We caution, however, that the vaccine may only buy you time to get your dog to a vet for treatment. Make an appointment for the vaccine with your regular vet, or call Sadie’s Clinic at 659-1122 #2.

We also recommend you consider rattlesnake avoidance training.

Our closest emergency clinics are Small Animal Hospital, 438 S. State, San Jacinto, (909) 654-7396, open during the week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon; the California Emergency and Specialty Care, 25100 Hancock Ave., #116, Murrieta, (951) 600-9803, which is open 24 hours; and in Temecula, the Emergency Pet Clinic, 27443 Jefferson Avenue, (951) 695-5044, week nights and 24 hours on weekends.

There are poison control center hotlines: the ASPCA, (888) 426-4435, available 24 hours, 365 days, but have your credit card handy. The National Animal Poison Control Center number is (800) 548-2423. You can keep hydrogen peroxide on hand to induce vomiting, but call your vet or one of the numbers above before administering, as it can be hazardous.

Please, for the sake of your pet hold on to this information.


  1. If there is enough interest we would consider hosting rs avoidance training at the next idyllwild spring challenge. We are also open 24 hours and 7 days and are located about an hour and 10 min from idy in Indio. Call anytime. Valley Animal Medical & ER @ 760-342-4711. Keep in mind that antivenim is only part of the treatment. RS bites introduce a hemotoxin that is very painful. Typical treatment includes antibiotics and pain medication and usually requires hospitalization for a day or two. You should expect the bill to be 1800-2500 depending on severity and how quickly you get to the vet. RS avoidance runs about 60 and vaccination is about 40 per injection.
    Its very sad to lose them. Time is the most important element. Craig