Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

With summer fast approaching, learn how you can best protect your pet and yourself from rattlesnakes

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Rattlesnakes are venomous reptiles that are common in our desert climate and with one bite they can kill.

Terry Chandler has been training dogs for more than 30 years to avoid the deadly reptile.

“We’ve had dogs that have come to us 10 years after they have been through the clinic,” Chandler said. “You can’t get them near a rattle snake.”

The training puts dogs face to face with a live rattlesnake. When the dog goes to sniff the rattler, it gets shocked by their collar. Chandler says from there on, the dog associated pain with the snake.

“It’s a momentary stimulation, it does kind of startle the dog but you know what it’s a whole lot better than getting bit by a rattlesnake,” Chandler said.

For extra protection for your dog you can also get a rattlesnake vaccine.

“It’s not a magic bullet and it’s not going to keep your dog needing to go to the vet, or cure its bite,” Lauren Short a veterinarian said.

Short told ABC-7 that the vaccine will buy you some time and lessen your dogs reaction from the bite. She says it can also help your bank account.

According to Short, when a dog has the rattlesnake vaccine they usually don’t need anti-venom which can cost more than $1,000 a vile. Compare that to the $27.50 you pay for the vaccine.

To be eligible for the vaccine your dog has to be older than 15 weeks.

If you live in a very high risk area you’re recommended to get the vaccine, then a booster four weeks later and once again every spring and fall. For those in less severe areas, Short recommends a booster four weeks after the initial shot and then once a year after that.

To book a rattlesnake training for your dog you can click here. Or you can email Chandler at [email protected]

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