What do you do when a snake, poisonous insect, or any other stinging, venomous creature comes into contact with your dog or cat?
Even if you don't coexist with rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins, like my friend Sandy in Texas does with her 3 German Shepherd dogs, you could still live among brown recluse spiders, black widows, scorpions, and various other venomous creatures. This blog was written to speak to any and all things that sting, bite, and hurt!
All but the most sterile environments have critters that make your skin crawl and hair stand on end. During the cooler months of the year, these sorts of creatures are seeking warmth... possibly inside your home. Natural disasters such as flooding, earthquake, tornadoes, fires, and other environmental catastrophes disturb the homes of more than humans making unexpected encounters more common. The thought of your beloved animals being bit might worry you, but homeopaths around the world have medicines (remedies) that not only help the pain of the bites but also support the metabolism of the venom into nothingness.
One of the most common questions I hear about snake bite and animals in my practice is, "Can a snake bite kill my dog?"
For a human, it is rare to die from snake bite. Unfortunately, our pets are at greater risk because they are typically bit on the face or neck where bites can cause severe swelling with subsequent obstruction of the trachea, making it difficult or even impossible to breathe. Even if the bites are not life-threatening, they cause severe pain, loss of tissue, and sometimes blood and neurological damage. Some of the toxic agents in the venom include:
- Cytotoxins (can create necrosis or death to the surrounding tissues)
- Myotoxins (can damage muscle tissue, including to the heart)
- Hemorrhagins (can damage lining of capillaries and small vessels causing bleeding) and anti-clotting agents (impair clotting of blood which causes more bleeding)
- Neurotoxins (damage nerves causing paralysis and other nerve impairment)
Since I live in the southwest in the highland deserts of New Mexico, I've seen the pain, the necrotic tissue, and the cost of treating snake bites. Today, a traditional vet visit can cost upwards of $3500 to administer anti-venom (antivenin). No kidding. The anti-venom alone can cost $2000 for one vial.
Cowboys and other working folks all over the world experience bites themselves or on their dogs, cows, sheep and any other animal that runs into snakes or biting creatures. These animals (and people) suffer the pain, swelling, and residual after-effects. In countries like India, where homeopathy is more widely available and used, snakes and poisonous insects coexist with domestic animals and humans with a little less stress. It is from India's 200 year history of homeopathic remedy use and my 40+ years in veterinary practice that I draw my confidence in treating these acute and scary conditions.
Here are some of the dogs who lived so I could tell the tail (you see what I did there?) of their run-ins with poisonous snakes - all treated with homeopathy!
For one client's dogs, a young pup and an older dog who both were bit by copperheads (different times), the experience was terrifying the first bite to the pup. But, the second bite to the older Shephard was really nothing more than another acute situation to deal with in a day in the life of an active dog!
For another client, whose Rotty was bit on the nose by a rattlesnake while hiking with her brother and parents. I administered homeopathy and IV Vitamin C for a few hours with a recovery that was clean and uneventful in spite of the fear and worry from the pet parents about the recovery of their baby.
A man I've worked with for years called me in a panic one day, telling me his dog had been bit by a rattler out on the gigantic ranch where he was a caretaker. I didn't panic because I knew he had the remedy he most needed in his homeopathic kit I had sold him some time ago. He dosed his pup a few times, then drove fast to the vet's office, about 45 minutes away. By the time he arrived, the vet didn't see a reason to give any treatment or anti-venom, saving him hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
When another client's beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback was bit by a rattler, she gave a few doses of a remedy I selected, but elected to also give the anti-venom from the vet. She and I were not as well acquainted at the time or I would have consulted her to pass on the anti-venom. The dog recovered mostly fine, but had some symptoms we treated to cure the residual ailments from the anti-venom.
Counter to popular belief, administering anti-venom to a dog after snakebite is actually an encumbrance to the healing and recovery process.
Anti-venom is a powerful protein that, on top of the actual venom or chemicals in the bite (not all harmful bites are venomous), requires more work for the body to metabolize, detox and eliminate. I have found the animals that have been dosed with anti-venom require more help with detox and more follow-up evaluations to insure the heart has not been damaged.
There are other treatments for snake bite you may have heard of that are not recommended.
There are any so-called treatments for snake bites that exist around the world including hooking the skin to a battery and applying a direct current to the area — now that seems scary to me!
You've probably heard of people cutting the wound and sucking out the venom. Studies have shown this does not work, so don't even think about doing it! A state policeman in Arizona told my partner that, although there were many snake bites every year in the area, the only people who die were those who tried to cut the skin and suck out the venom. These people often bleed to death.
Not knowing whether the snake bite was venomous or not, most veterinarians treat with injections of expensive anti-venom, steroids, pain medications, antibiotics, hospitalization, etc. All of these practices are considered standard. Recovery can be prolonged, tissues can be damaged, and the pain can be profound. These methods can't compare to the specific use of homeopathic remedies for these episodes. Homeopathic remedies can resolve all these issues quickly, safely, and permanently.
Whether you live in an area where poisonous snakes tend to live or not, dropping temperatures in fall and winter might inspire poisonous insects to seek warmth in your home.
A dear friend of mine, Lizzy, who lives in the Texas hill country, shares her beautiful ranch with many animals... and many scorpions. Her horses and cat have been stung, my friend, herself, has been stung 3 times in 3 months! It's kind of a way of life and my friend is in any way, shape, or form a careless person — the sheer volume of scorpions who love her ranch (and her shoes) is just impossible to fight.
Lizzy was able to share her pain with me, describing the sensations before and after dosing different remedies. Her recovery each time has been uneventful and educational. Because we both speak English, not dog or horse, she was able to tell me how the pain felt. The human experience still assists me when I need to translate from animals the pain they feel when selecting remedies. Thanks to the humans in my life, I have been able to treat other animals with accuracy and rapid recovery. Pretty cool, right? And no hospital visits required or residual injuries to nurse.
Some of the poisonous insects which may be in your area include, but are not limited to, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, red fire ants, Japanese Oriental wasps, Blister beetles, Cow Killers, Africanized Honeybees, and centipedes. All interactions with these poisonous insects can be treated with the same protocol as a snake bite for complete healing.
The insects to which I'm not referring are not the average Joe mosquito, bee, or ant bite, although those can be pretty dangerous if a genuine allergy is present. However, these kinds of bites won't inject the intense venom of the insects I just mentioned.
If you live near the ocean, walking your animal along the beach could include an encounter with poisonous marine life.
It may sound strange to talk about ocean creatures and domestic pets in the same sentence, but if you live by bodies of water, your animal could come into contact with Water Moccasin snakes, stinging jellyfish, stingrays and other water creatures. There is hardly anything that will work faster than homeopathic remedies for these encounters of the very-close-kind.
A day hasn't gone by in my 41 years of practice when I don't experience a moment of profound gratitude for homeopathy.
When it comes to treating those BIG fear-provoking events, I not only find gratitude but confidence in knowing I have powerful medicine to help animals. Acute episodes with snakes, poisonous insects, and stinging sea creatures in the life of an active and beloved dog or cat are among the most frightening and, frequently, the most expensive to treat. Still, with homeopathic remedies and a few strong antioxidants, the healing after these scary encounters can be swift, the damage and pain minimal, and the cost extremely affordable.
It's been a privilege to assist the animals in my practice and their loving pet parents when these shocking incidents occur. To bring this healing medicine and practical application into practice on behalf of your dog or cat, visit my store and read over the description for my Snake and Poisonous Insect kit.