The photo shows Maya’s foot, swollen from a copperhead bite a couple of hours earlier.
Maya is one of our German Shepherd Dogs (GSD). She’s just less than 22 months old and lives here with her brother, Oso, and mother Tally. Here are some links to earlier blogs about the GSDs: http://goliadfarms.com/puppies-new-greenhouse-walkways/ and http://goliadfarms.com/gambusia-road-trip-genesis/.
This time of the year, from June 1st to July 15th, copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) are common in our yard. They come out at dusk to about 10:00 PM to hunt emerging cicadas and June bugs. During this time each of our dogs has been bitten by copperheads. This was Maya’s first experience.
GSDs are very resistant to pit viper (rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths) bites. And, copperheads are the least toxic of these snakes. The typical progression of a bite is rapid swelling and pain, followed by gradual decrease in both over a 12 hour period. The photo shows Maya’s foot at the maximum swelling and pain. She was uncomfortable but slept well with Ashley, our onsite employee. Susie, my wife, and I were in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so Ashley dealt with the problem herself. This consisted of giving Maya a Benadryl and keeping her quiet.
For more information about copperheads, here’s a link to an earlier blog: http://goliadfarms.com/copperhead-in-tree/.