Nature’s Nasty Side

What you need to know about venomous snakes and your dog.

The shriek cut through the stillness of the Central California desert. Labrador Retriever mix Angus’ paw landed on a rattlesnake while he tromped along a familiar dirt road, and within minutes the friendly dog was fading out of consciousness as his pet sitters rushed him to the veterinarian. 

“I prayed so much I think God was tired of hearing from me,” says owner Shannon B., who got the news while camping with her family more than 200 miles away. They hastily packed their gear and sped to the Atascadero Pet Hospital and Emergency Center to find Angus wagging just the tip of his tail, stable but still suffering the painful effects that venomous snakes unleash on more than 40 pets brought to the center each year.

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