How Drought Affects Your Pets … and You!

It seems as if 1/2 the country has too much rain and the other 1/2 doesn’t have enough!  We live in the part that is in a drought.

Coral Snake: Remember the jingle - 'Red & yellow kill a fellow, red & black venom lack.'

Earlier this summer, I moaned about having 145+ days without rain.  Then we got a break and the skies opened and gave us almost 2 inches of rain.

Our part of Texas should have already had about 30″ of rain so far this year, but we are hovering around 10″ of the wet stuff.  Veterinarians are warning about the consequences of so little rain.

Snakes are Biting More Pets

Rattlesnakes are the most likely biter of man and animal! You know what the rattle sound means, but your pet probably doesn't!

The next time Fido goes outside and comes back inside limping, you might want to check your pet.

Our younger pet (a Bassett-Hound) loves to snoop in our stacks of fireplace wood.  He can chase a gecko, or other lizard, for hours.

Unfortunately, the drought has brought all kinds of animals, reptiles and insects closer to homes.  Why?

They are searching for water and food.  As the rodents and insects move closer to homes, they bring snakes … and anything else that eats them as food sources.

Our Bassett came back in with a lump on his right haunch and seemed agitated.  He couldn’t find a comfortable sitting position.   He couldn’t lie still.

Sure enough, the vet confirmed that he’d been bitten by a snake.  Even with medication and a shot, it was several days before Porkchop (our Bassett) was back to his happy self!

How Can You Lessen the Chance of a Snake Bite? 

1) Remove tall grass and piles of trash in the yard.

2) Make wood piles “off-limits” for the rest of the drought. (We put portable fencing around our wood.)

3) Pay attention to your pet. A lump and strange behavior are indicators of trouble.

Next Time:  Save Yourself, or your Children, from a Bite!

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 11:26 am  Comments Off on How Drought Affects Your Pets … and You!  
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How Can We Share a Snake’s Territory Without Getting Bitten?

This article is a follow-up to yesterday’s Would You Recognize a Venomous Snake?

This Mojave Rattlesnake is Ready & Watching!

As the earth warms up in spring, snakes come out of hibernation and reluctantly meet humans.

Given a choice, they would rather never see a human.  Perhaps it has something to do with our attitude.  Most folks admit that they’ve “…never met a snake they really liked.”

Sharing the Outdoors With Snakes

Folks who insist on camping, fishing, hiking and hunting are very likely to run into a slithery serpent.  Here are a few tips for preventing snake bites.

  • Are you in an area inhabited by snakes?
  • Are you wearing high leather boots and long pants while in “snake territory?”
  • Are you reaching into an area where you cannot see what you are touching?
  • Are you moving around in places where snakes usually hide?
  • Are you walking at night in an area known to have snakes?
  • Is someone in your group harassing a snake?
  • Are you stepping over something (log or rock), but can’t see what is on the other side?
  • Are you wading in shallow water?
  • Are you wading along banks in thick, wooded areas?

Caution On Land

If you are walking in an area that is known to have snakes, it is important to wear suitable clothing and leather boots.  Monday, I read an interesting blog, Denim May Guard Against Rattlesnake Bites.

The organizers of the study stated, “… denim clothing proved effective at reducing venom injection by both small and large rattlesnakes. Wearing long denim pants as an alternative to shorts may provide a simple, low-cost means of reducing the severity of snakebites.”

It is also advisable to carry a long stick, to test the waters before putting your hand or leg into an unfamiliar area.

Remember that snakes like to hide in logs or under leaves, waiting for supper.  These simple hiding spaces are successful;  a serpent can find enough mice and lizards (in this way) to stay fed.

Danger In & Around Water

Water Moccasins don’t seem to have a sense of humor.  They are always looking for a ‘bite’ so it is very important to stay aware when walking in and around water.

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For More Info About the 4 Venomous Types of North America: see Snake Dangers & River Tubing

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Snake photo – courtesy of Vantage Point Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com