Vets report uptick in snakebites in dogs

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MARIETTA, Ga. - Veterinarians are warning about the possibility of copperhead snake bites after several people’s dogs have been bitten.

The Hopkins family’s Australian shepherd mix, Cody, was bitten by a copperhead earlier this week.

“I was shocked. I was like, ‘Please, can you save my puppy? Because it’s my daughter’s life,'” Susie Hopkins said.

Cody came in from the Hopkins’ back yard crying. He had been bitten in the neck six times by a copperhead.

Cody’s veterinarian said the bites could have been fatal, but after days of treatment, Cody pulled through.

Veterinarians said the closer to the head, the more dangerous the bite, because if the venom gets into the neurological system, it can stop the dog’s breathing. With enough venom, a dog can go into shock and die.

With the warm weather and the mild winter, some emergency vet clinics told Channel 2’s Diana Davis they have seen an uptick in snakebite cases. Snakes like places near water and often show up in brushy, woodsy areas.

Dr. Michael Good of the Town and Country Veterinary Clinic said smaller dogs are more likely  to engage with a snake, and thus more likely to be bitten.

Most pets can be treated with IV antibiotics, but treatment can cost as much as $1,000.

Hopkins said she’ll be keeping a closer eye out this summer.

“I cried every night and held him and I told him, I talked to him, looking him in his eyes and said, ‘Cody, be strong, baby, you’ve got to fight this,’” Hopkins said.