Copperhead Bite


With the weather warming up, the copperheads are out again. Here’s a post from the archives that’s a little wake-up for snake season!


Carrot routinely patrols the ditchbanks here on the farm looking for mice, frogs and any other little thing that moves, and I’m generally prepared to see some amorphous clump of hair/guts/whatever end up on my floor or at the door. I wasn’t prepared, however, for the morning when she came running into the house, yelping in terror and within minutes, her foot had swollen to the size of a baseball. For all the searching, I couldn’t find anything but a tiny hole with a little blood coming out — it appeared to be some sort of a puncture wound. It finally dawned on me: a snake.


Within 5 minutes, she was panting from pain, salivating like crazy and her head drooping. It was clearly a Copperhead because of the size of the bite and because Copperheads strike straight out from their bodies, not upwards like Water Moccasins and Rattlesnakes.



Photo: Edward J. Wozniak D.V.M., Ph.D. for CDC


The key to snake bites with people and pets is to get medical help ASAP. The first 1/2 hour is a critical time and even though Copperhead bites are seldom fatal for dogs, they can be extremely painful and scary.


A blast of prednezone, a benedryl tablet, and some pain killer later, she was back to her sweet self. A little gimpy, but willing to wag her tail.



Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, snakes, Copperhead, snakebite, dogs


You can see her foot kept weeping for about 24 hours (and yes, that is my son in the dog crate behind…no, I don’t put him in there. He does it himself. Hmmm).



Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, snakes, Copperhead, snakebite, dogs


Crisis averted and dog well.


I don’t know if you do this, but sometimes after a drama has ended, that’s when I get mad or upset. This was no exception. I was out for blood. You hurt one of my kids, my dogs, my friends, and watch out. There’ no telling what I’ll do…



Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, snakes, Copperhead, snakebite, dogs

’nuff said, I guess.


Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, snakes, Copperhead, snakebite, dogs


Oh, I guess I should have made a copperhead collar…




2 thoughts on “Copperhead Bite

  1. Sometimes the Copperhead injects little to no venom with the bite. Mature ones can actually meter their venom according to the threat and/or nature of prey. Amazing belt though! And sweet dog too. The son in the crate though, well I wouldn’t know where to begin 😉

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