In the United States one of the most common types of venomous snakes are rattlesnakes. Additionally, they are also the largest venomous snake of the United States and can easily strike at one-third or more of the length of their bodies. Some other common venomous snakes include water moccasins and copperheads, and together with rattlesnakes are considered ‘pit-vipers’. Amongst these types of snakes are a few common characteristics that help make them recognizable such as vertical pupils, triangular heads, pits between eyes and nostrils, and fat bodies. Specifically, rattlesnakes can call mountains, deserts and beaches ‘home’. They also have incredibly painful bites, with the deadliest of the species being the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. This particular variety is the most fatal to humans and animals alike. In general, rattlesnakes have something called hemotoxic venom which disrupts the clotting process of blood and can also cause profound tissue damage and organ failure. It is these qualities that make this type of bite very painful. Facts all too real to a pooch named Toad.

In mid-September 2019 Toad and his owner, Fritz Brownell, were on a stroll near their home in Kuna, Idaho when the unexpected happened and Toad was bitten 5 times by a rattlesnake. Brownell understood the severity of the situation and immediately rushed his dog to the vet. When they arrived, Toad had already started bleeding from his lips and gums, and his prognosis was not looking good. Fortunately for Toad and his owner, vets are ready for these types of emergencies and are armed with the anti-venom necessary to stop the damage of venom and help save the animals life. The anti-venom was administered to Toad by injection and it was able to neutralize the venom coursing through Toad’s body effectively enough to spare his life.

In an interview with KTVB, Brownell describe the scene saying, “As I approached him [Toad], I saw a snake cartwheeling in the air and when I got to him, I kept him between me and the snake and when I went to grab him, big mistake, there were multiple snakes.” However, due to Brownell’s quick thinking, he was able to get to Toad the veterinary care he needed, and the brave pup pulled through. Brownell and his dog’s situation turned out well, however people should heed the advice of Idaho Fish and Game and keep pets leashed while on walks out in the foothills or desert. It is important to keep close eye on pets during walks and deter them from sticking their face into bushes and rock crevices where snakes can be hiding. In order to avoid rattlesnakes, as well as the numerous other venomous snakes indigenous to the Unites States, we must stay vigilant.