Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report

AJO, AZ - MARCH 27:  A rattlesnake tastes the air on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Reserve on March 27, 2006 near Ajo, Arizona. Because of escalating environmental problems associated with the region?s massive illegal immigration and stepped up border enforcement efforts, the vast and desert wilderness in and around the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Reserve and Organ Pipe National Monument has been described as the nation?s most embattled wilderness by reserve officials. Immigrants crossing the desert are discarding tons of used water bottles, excess clothing and other trash as they elude the Border Patrol. Border agents trying to stop them, and vehicles that cross the border illegally, are accelerating widespread off-road vehicle damage on the fragile Sonoran Desert plain at an unprecedented rate.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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AJO, AZ - MARCH 27: A rattlesnake tastes the air on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Reserve on March 27, 2006 near Ajo, Arizona. Because of escalating environmental problems associated with the region?s massive illegal immigration and stepped up border enforcement efforts, the vast and desert wilderness in and around the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Reserve and Organ Pipe National Monument has been described as the nation?s most embattled wilderness by reserve officials. Immigrants crossing the desert are discarding tons of used water bottles, excess clothing and other trash as they elude the Border Patrol. Border agents trying to stop them, and vehicles that cross the border illegally, are accelerating widespread off-road vehicle damage on the fragile Sonoran Desert plain at an unprecedented rate. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Veterinarians in some parts of Texas have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to media reports.

"The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they're cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that," Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital in Austin told KVUE.

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The story does not offer any specific figures to back the claim.

If you live in an area that is especially populated by rattlesnakes, some veterinarians recommend the Red Rock Rattlesnake vaccine, which helps dogs develop antibodies that can neutralize rattlesnake venom.

Dogs need to be 16 weeks old to receive the vaccine. Although it can help slow the effects of the venom, it is still important to get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect a rattlesnake bite.

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The Houston Chronicle is reporting that recent hotter-than-usual weather has at least one upside: rattlesnakes rattle more when its warmer, serving as the perfect warning for you and your best friend.

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