Sunday, May 01, 2011

Snake-bit Pete

We think Pete the Aussie was bitten by a snake yesterday afternoon.

He seems OK now, but he went all wobbly and spastic about 6:30 p.m. yesterday. He found Maria in the bedroom, walking funny with his front legs buckling. I was in the garage, reinstalling my tank bag and GPS on the K1200GT when Maria yelled to me that something was seriously wrong with Pete.

I watched him follow her into living room where he collapsed and went into what looked like a mild seizure. While Maria comforted him, I got a flashlight and checked his pupils (they responded properly) and called the emergency number of our vet. We were put through to one of the vets on call who asked the usual questions about whether he might have ingested antifreeze or some other poisonous substance. By the time we were talking to her, he had barfed a small piece of dog food and was coming out of his distress and looking more like himself.

We concluded that he may have eaten something bad. She suggested we keep an eye on him, so we kept him with us while we drove in to town and Maria did a little work at the office.

Consulting with our friends Deb and Charlie this morning, Charlie – who grew up in a farm near Texarkana and is a pharmacist – offered that it was probably a snake bite, since he saw snake-bit dogs when he was a kid who behaved similarly. Our guess is that Pete tangled with a baby copperhead, most likely in the woodpile in the back yard. Consequently, if and when it stops raining, the woodpile will be disassembled and any snakes found will be dispatched.

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