Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?
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Thread: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

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    Senior Member MrsJohnnyG's Avatar
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    Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    While petting Dabney this afternoon, I noticed to my horror he had an injury. It looked like two very deep scratches, right above where his front left leg joins his body, and he seems to have licked away the fur around it.

    Of course, the first thing I did was call the vet to see if I should bring him in. The vet said that since he's eating and drinking and is not lethargic and not showing any other unusual behavior (in fact he's his bouncy, cheerful self and isn't picking at the wound or anything), to apply a bit of Neosporin and keep a close eye on him the next couple of days.

    Needless to say, I'm obsessing and am now wondering if I should take him in anyway -- especially since it occurred to me that it could be a snake bite!

    Has anyone experienced a snake bite before? Does it look anything like this? We do have garter snakes around here but we haven't seen any poisonous ones, so it would likely be a non-venomous bite... any other ideas?

    Pardon the bad iPhone snapshots:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?-injury1.jpg   Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?-injury2.jpg  
    Julia ~ Mom to three beautiful Standard Poodles, Dixon (7 years), Dabney and Jackson (ONE YEAR old! they're growing up WAY too fast!) I love them SOOOOOO much!!!!!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member MrsJohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Well, my husband doesn't believe a garter snake would bite so he doesn't think it's a snake bite... he thinks one of the other pups accidentally bit down too hard when they were play-fighting... I doubt that's it though because their bite inhibition is outstanding. *sigh*
    Julia ~ Mom to three beautiful Standard Poodles, Dixon (7 years), Dabney and Jackson (ONE YEAR old! they're growing up WAY too fast!) I love them SOOOOOO much!!!!!

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    Senior Member Dakota Spirit's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Kind of an interesting looking injury, I'm not really sure what could of caused it.

    I don't think it'd be snake, though. Snakes don't typically 'tear' with their teeth. When they bite the wounds are usually punctures rather than longer lacerations, which is what Dabney appears to have.



    Dakota - 12 year old female Rat Terrier l Tristan - 2 year old male Border Collie/McNab

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    Senior Member MrsJohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Thank you... I saw a cat in our back yard later, so I'm wondering if it was a cat scratch. He's been his usual bouncy self all evening, not a sign of any pain or discomfort, so I guess I'll just follow the vet's advice.
    Julia ~ Mom to three beautiful Standard Poodles, Dixon (7 years), Dabney and Jackson (ONE YEAR old! they're growing up WAY too fast!) I love them SOOOOOO much!!!!!

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    Senior Member Bikhi Akhbar's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    i've been bitten by a garter snake and there is no way that was caused by one. not sure what did it but it wasn't a garter snake.
    Have you geocached today?

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    Senior Member CorgiKarma's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    A garter wouldn't do that, and it's an odd location for a snakebite, too...I'd actually be more worried about a cat bite/scratch, though.
    Real dogs don't have tails

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    Senior Member Dakota Spirit's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    On the note of it possibility being a cat scratch - be sure you are keeping it VERY clean and sterilized. Both cat bites and scratches have a high tendency to become infected (sometime pretty seriously) if not treated correctly.



    Dakota - 12 year old female Rat Terrier l Tristan - 2 year old male Border Collie/McNab

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    Senior Member JSporty1's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    I've had several different kinds of snakes, and a few of them have bitten me. None of the bite wounds looked like that. My one snake even bit my dog on the nose. The only way a snake bit would look like that is if it held on as someone or something were pulling it off. Even then, it just doesn't look like that to me. I've had quite a bit of experience with snakes and snakebites, and that looks much more like a cat scratch or something.
    If it is somehow a snake bite, it's clearly not from a venemous snake, since it doesn't look swollen, and your dog is acting fine.
    Keep an eye on it, though, and if anything changes, take the dog in.
    Last edited by JSporty1; 07-02-2009 at 10:03 PM.

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Hard to tell but wouldn't an animal scratch show marks that are more parallel? Maybe he tried to jump something and didn't quite clear it, e.g. a log, fence, etc? Something with a sharp protrusion?

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    Senior Member MrsJohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Thanks for the ideas... winniec777, that's what I was thinking, but for the life of me, I can't imagine what else it could have been. We did have a gigantic branch fall overnight that I should go investigate to see if it has sharp brambly things he might have snagged on.

    He's still his usual self and isn't showing any irritation, EXCEPT when I tried to examine it again... he was a bit jumpy/protective about it. I'm not sure how to clean it thoroughly without hurting him but will look up the best way to keep a wound clean when it seems to irritate or hurt the dog when it's touched.

    Thank you SO much for all your thoughts... I really appreciate it!!
    Julia ~ Mom to three beautiful Standard Poodles, Dixon (7 years), Dabney and Jackson (ONE YEAR old! they're growing up WAY too fast!) I love them SOOOOOO much!!!!!

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Hope the wound gets better real soon! Glad to hear he's still his usual self.

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Could this be a snake bite? or an animal scratch? any idea?

    Aww, poor baby! Doesn't look like a snake bite to me, either. I've been bitten - on the leg - and sent that snake flying through the air, but still, just puncture wounds. Sometimes we never do find out exactly what happened. Keep the wound clean and dry, watch for any swelling of tissue surrounding the area, and give him extra kissies!

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