*Warning this post contains pictures of a snake. Seriously, Jennifer won’t even read this post.
We have a ton of English ivy in the yard, well it’s probably more accurate to say that we have a little bit of yard in our English ivy.
We have wanted to get rid of it to make way for some usable space for playing with dogs or gardening. But now we have a more personal reason to get rid of it. Revenge!
You see, our big curious dog Harvey learned all about the business end of a resident Copperhead snake. We came home to find him in the house and our other one outside barking like a maniac, with a more urgent tone than usual. I went outside to find him dancing around a coiled up snake.
I called Sketch off of the snake and got him inside safe and sound. Both dogs seemed fine, so we went about with dinner and some Netflix. About 30 minutes later I was noticing Harvey rubbing his face on the floor and Sketch a little more affectionately than usual. Well it wasn’t affection causing him to rub his face on Sketch. His face was swelling, from what we could only assume was a snake bite.
A quick trip down to the local Emergency pet clinic confirmed our fear. He had been bitten, right on snout. It turns out though, that copperhead bites are rarely fatal for healthy dogs. There are a few reasons for this. Often times the snake does not transfer venom into the dog because of a lack of fatty tissue where they bite, and if they do get venom into the dog, it may not be that much because the snakes intention is to defend itself not kill. Copperheads are much quicker to strike than most snakes, but less poisonous.
Now here is the part we were even more surprised to hear. The anti-venom for a copperhead bite is $25,000! Isn’t that crazy!?
Luckily, Harvey didn’t need it, and the vet gave us some antibiotics to keep the wound from getting infected and pain killers to keep Harvey feeling alright. We were relieved to know that our boy was going to be ok and when we got him home and he seemed happy enough. As a remind though, he had a big swollen face as a battle scar.
There are not a lot of things you can do to get rid of copperheads. One of the main strategies is removing their habitat, and that means getting rid of ivy. They LOVE ivy. So now we will wage war on this stuff to try and make our yard a bit safer for ourselves and the dogs.