In San Diego, a dog owner has revealed the risk of rattlesnake vaccination for dogs.
Dog owners are naturally protective fur parents and one may think that getting all preventive vaccines will prevent the worst and promote your dog’s overall well-being.
Now, Jamie Simons is warning dog owners about the little-known effects of a rattlesnake vaccination for dogs.
Simons lost her dog, Tootsie, a year ago, and is clearly still heart-broken.
“She shouldn’t have been lost. She had every chance, she was so healthy, she was so tremendously strong and loving,” Simons said about Tootsie while holding Bonnie, a dog she adopted after Tootsie passed away.
Tootsie was bitten by a rattlesnake at the end of a hiking trail in the East County last year.
“She was sniffing around some little bushes at the side of the trail and she came up and she wouldn’t drink and she wouldn’t react,” said Simons.
Simons wasn’t sure if Tootsie had been bitten, but took her to an emergency vet hospital within 30 minutes as a precaution.
However, Tootsie was sent home only with Benadryl. Simons said the vet thought Tootsie had only been stung by a bee.
Later that night, Simons took Tootsie back to the vet, where she was given anti-venom, but it was too late—Tootsie died the next morning.
“Yeah, it’s been a terrible tragedy to be honest with you,” Simons said.
Several dog owners are not aware that there is a so-called “rattlesnake vaccination” for dogs. Tootsie is one of the few dogs who received it every year.
“It gives them time to get to a veterinary clinic,” Simons said.
She said that the vaccination can delay and hide symptoms of a rattlesnake bite.
“It can delay them to the point that a vet may not recognize that there has been a snake envenomation,” she said.
This vaccination is FDA approved, but there is not a lot of information about it out there.
The distraught dog owner said she would like to see that changed.
“I just don’t want that to happen to another owner, for lack of information,” said Simons.