Rattlesnake Bites Dog in Northwest Chicago Suburb

Posted by Judy Orr on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 at 11:33am.

The wildlife is getting restless in the Chicago area.  I'm going to need to make a new category for Chicago Wildlife.  I love animals.  I am afraid of snakes.  I certainly don't like spiders, but I can get close enough to kill them (if they look scary enough) or I have even transferred them outside.  Snakes arattlesnake in illinoisre another thing. 

I swear I almost ended up in the hospital one time when I was gardening and a snake touched my hand (trying to get away).  I lost my breath & was jumping around and screaming so much I'm surprised someone didn't call the cops.  We have a resident garter snake (a big one) that seems to share our Homer Glen backyard with our neighbor's.  My husband named him Snickers.  I don't want to run into him.

I did not know northern Illinois had rattlesnakes.  But last Friday a young yellow lab named Whoop was bitten by an Eastern massasauga rattlesnake which, although rare, is found in Illinois.  Yikes!

The dog was playing in a wetland area near his owner's business in McHenry County.  When he came inside his owner knew something was wrong as he walked in with his head and tail down and his eyes were glassy.

The vet found a large lump on his side but it was so swollen the fang marks were not visible.  It took a couple of hours to figure out it was a snake bite.

The good news is that Whoop will be fine and didn't need anti-venom as this snake isn't as venomous as other rattlesnakes.  The only problem Whoop might endure is having skin die around the bite so a special cream is being used besides antiobotics and pain meds.   If too much skin dies off, surgery will be needed but hopefully that won't be necessary.

If a human gets bitten by one of these snakes the prognosis should be the same.  These snakes are not aggressive and Whoop probably just got too close without realizing the danger.  In fact, these snakes are actually endangered.

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