Click on any of the small pictures below to see a larger version.

Lou (training pups) and Riser as they normally look

At about 6:30 pm on Monday, September 20, 2004, Lulu (age 7) and her daughter Riser (age 3) were bitten by a very angry rattlesnake. The snake was caught in chicken wire which it had apparently tried to get thru while hunting along our back fence. Since there were 6 dogs in the yard at the time, only 2 of which had been "snakeproofed", we consider ourselves lucky only the two dogs were bitten. Since we have had a dog bitten before and seen others which had been bitten, it didn't take long to realize what had happened. We began checking along the fence, discovering by loud buzzing the location of the snake. A shotgun was used to dispatch the snake, which measured slightly longer than 39 inches, minus its head, and had 10 rattles. The wire had to be cut to remove the snakes body from the fence.

Riser was bitten once on the bridge of the nose, an especially favorable location since the bone prevented any significant penetration of fangs. Lou was bitten at least three times on the head, mostly on the right side. Both dogs were taken to an emergency clinic for treatment, which included antivenin and IV fluids. They were picked up Tuesday afternoon and looked like the picture to the left.

Riser, though still swollen, was mostly back to normal and ready to eat and play. Lou, on the other hand, was still feeling very bad and would not eat much. The picture on the left of Lou shows the damage while the areas were still draining. Wednesday morning, Lou would not eat at all and was taken back to our regular vet for more treatment. She received more fluids throughout the day and spent that night and Thursday at the clinic for close observation and treatment. When we picked her up Thursday afternoon, she was feeling much better but would only eat soft, hand-fed food. That was understandable since her gums were purple and swollen.

Friday morning, after Lou and Riser made a followup visit to the vet, Lou looked much happier while holding her stuffed mallard toy.

Lou continues to recover. She gets twice daily hydrotherapy (fancy term for massaging with a gentle nozzle on a water hose) followed by slathering with antibiotic ointment on the affected areas. Patches of dead skin have begun to slough off and it will be interesting to see how much scarring occurs.

Lou pictured on Sunday morning, 5 1/2 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Tuesday evening, 8 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Wednesday evening, 9 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Sunday evening, 13 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Monday evening, 14 days post-bite -- dead skin really starting to come off now.

Lou pictured Wednesday evening, 16 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Friday evening, 18 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Sunday evening, 20 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Friday evening, 25 days post-bite.

Lou pictured Thursday evening, 32 days post-bite, has shed all the dead skin and is continuing to heal nicely.

Lou pictured 4 1/2 months post-bite. Healing has completed and it is clear that Lulu will always have the scarred area showing where hair will not grow back.

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