It was a beautiful June day in Anthem, Arizona when Paula Godwin decided to take her two Golden Retrievers for a hike. She chose a nearby paved trail that they had traversed many times before. Paula and her two Golden Retrievers, Todd and Cooper, were having a lovely hike. Suddenly, there was a rattlesnake right in front of them. The rattlesnake was, seemingly, on its way across the path. But Paula about to step on the snake before she realized it was there.
The rattlesnake was poised to bite. When Todd, the younger of the retrievers, jumped in front of his owner at just the right second. Instead of biting Paula’s leg, as the snake had intended, he ended up biting Todd right on the face. The poor 9-month old Golden pup yelped loudly in pain and his face began to swell.
Paula wasted no time. She picked up her beloved pup and ran him down the hill. She rushed to take Todd to the animal hospital. Within a few minutes, they had made it to the vet’s office. Todd’s facial swelling was massive. After a short discussion, the vet quickly administered anti-venom to Todd. Todd was kept at the vet and monitored for the rest of the day.
After he was released to go home, he continued his recovery. He had to take it easy for a few weeks so his body could heal. Paula was impressed at how quickly he recovered. Thankfully, this Golden Retriever hero made a full recovery and is living a full life.
After this incident, Paula Godwin started a GoFundMe. The money was to help pay for anti-venom treatments for other pets in the area. The anti-venom treatment is not cheap, but it can be life-saving. She managed to raise $500 for owners who’s pets needed the anti-venom but the owners could not afford the treatment.
Rattlesnake bites are extremely painful and can cause blurred vision, numbness, and difficulty breathing. Rattlesnake venom has been known to kill small dogs and cats. If left untreated the venom can cause long-term health problems, mainly damage to tissue. This is chiefly due to the fact that rattlesnake venom contains enzymes that start to digest its victim.
This indicates that the rattlesnake venom was actually starting to digest Todd’s face. Thankfully, Paula acted quickly enough to save her 9-month old pup from lasting damage. Bites to the face and legs are, generally, less severe than bites to the chest or abdomen. Snake bites to the tongue are the worst. So, while Todd’s adorable face may have gotten pretty swollen it’s a good thing that he was bitten on the face and not somewhere else.
Another effect of rattlesnake venom is that after several hours it will attract as much as ⅓ of a dog’s body fluid to the area of the bite. This is what causes the swelling. The body fluid concentrated in this area can cause life-threateningly, low blood pressure in the body. This low blood pressure can lead to shock and death if left untreated.
Thankfully, Todd was there to save his owner, Paula, from a painful rattlesnake bite. And thankfully Paula was there to get her hero, Todd, to the vet for immediate treatment. What a blessing our pets can be.