Then & Now, A Rough Few Days…

Last February, for Willy’s birthday, I made him a little book with snapshots of our life and growing family. Hooper was just a few months old at the time and Sarah had just recovered from a rattlesnake bite she suffered a month prior. I included a picture of Sarah in the book and for shits and giggles I cut out a little slithery snake and glued it near Sarah’s flap, where she had been bitten. When she was out of the woods, we joked about the two little gash marks she had on her cheek, referring to them as battle wounds. She looked so tough with those fang marks. Overtime they went away and the snakebite was just a memory.
Until now. It’s been a rough couple days around these parts. For starters, I’ve had some major pregnancy discomforts. Bad enough to call in sick to work, two days in a row. I’m still in a fair amount of discomfort, but my worries and energy now are geared toward Sarah who we picked up from the vet yesterday. She was bit by a rattlesnake, again, on Thursday. I took her over to my parents house around 3pm to play with their dog and get some of her energy out in their large backyard only to go out and check on her and find her with grossly inflamed flaps. This is not the first time her flaps have been grossly inflamed and it never leads to anything good. I got her in the car and rushed her to the vet immediately. She threw up all over my car. The vet seemed to think it was another bee sting. She’s been stung twice before and is allergic and nearly goes into anaphylactic shock each time. They gave her some epinephrine and benadryl and I took her home. The swelling seemed to be getting worse and a large amount of fluid started collecting under her chin making it appear that she swallowed a tennis ball. Red flags started going off at this point. When she was bit by a rattlesnake the first time, it looked like someone implanted a huge softball in the side of her neck. Willy and I examined her further and found a little blood seeping under her nose where she was “stung”. Odd for a bee sting to still be oozing blood (FYI: rattlesnake venom causes bleeding problems and dogs that do die from the bites usually die due to internal bleeding). Under her flap we noticed a bruise. More red flags. So at 8:30pm I took her back to vet. Another vet saw her and confirmed that he thought it was a snakebite. He gave me the option of getting the anti-venom but also said that being hours after the bite it wouldn’t necessarily work. Anti-venom costs $600. Sarah was alert at this time, playful, and eating treats. We opted to pass on the anti venom after weighing the pros and cons and talking to Willy’s dad who is a dairy veterinarian. I did ask that they give her something for pain as she was incredibly restless and unable to lay down without getting up 20 seconds later to reposition herself. My heart aches just recounting this story. They gave her some dilaudid, a very strong narcotic, and, once again, I took her home. It was 10:30pm by the time I got home and we were instructed to keep an eye on the bruise under her flap to be sure it didn’t get bigger. Willy and I sat with heavy hearts on the sofa watching as her rib cage slowly rose and fell. We got up every 20 minutes or so to go sit by her and re-assess the swelling and the bruise. The swelling seemed to be getting worse and she could hardly keep her left eye open. It was obvious we weren’t going to get any rest, rest I for one definitely needed, so at midnight Willy scooped her back up and brought her back to the vet. She spent Thursday night there. We picked her up Friday afternoon and she seems to be doing okay, but we won’t know if she is out of the woods until another day or so. The concern now is that the area of bruising under her flap becomes necrotic. If that happens, we’re in for many more problems. Willy asked me this morning what we should do if that occurs. Unable to muster up the energy to think negatively, I told him we’d wait until it’s an issue.
Sarah and I spent much of Friay together, on the bed, resting and recuperating. But yes, it’s been a rough few days…








7 Responses

  • We are so sorry that you all are going through this. Oh these dogs, they truly do become our children and I feel for you as you deal with these difficult times. You guys will be in our thoughts and prayers. Monty sends his love to sarah and we send our love to you! Hope you are feeling better as well. XO

  • When Kimo was bitten a second time he didn’t get anti-venom either. Our vet told us that after being bit the first time and receiving the anti-venom and having the rattlesnake vaccines that if we had given the anti-venom again to Kimo he would be more likely to die. Luckily, Kimo is alive and fully recovered, but I dread rattlesnake season as it begins to warm up again. I am happy that Sarah is doing better and I hope the puncture area doesn’t become necrotic. Did your parents ever find the rattlesnake in their yard? XOXO

  • Oh, Ashley, I’m sorry this is going on. Sarah is lucky to have you and Willy as her people. I’ll be thinking of you guys until she’s really on the mend.


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