If you have any questions about rattlesnake vaccines and/or need an annual exam please call us at

(760) 345-8227

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Rattlesnake Season Is Coming…

Less than 25 lbs require a total of 3 rattlesnake vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart (then yearly thereafter).

Between 26-99 lbs require only 2 rattlesnake vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart (then yearly thereafter).

100 + lbs require a total of 3 rattlesnake vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart (then yearly thereafter).

Rattlesnake Season April-October

If you hike with your pet on our local trails, or let your pet run in desert regions for exercise, you may want to have them vaccinated. Rattlesnake bites can be fatal and a rattlesnake bite is always an emergency.

Purpose of a Rattlesnake Vaccine

The purpose of a rattlesnake vaccine is to lessen the severity of the pet’s symptoms to a rattlesnake bite. The vaccine does this by building immunity to the snake’s venom. Any pet bitten by a rattlesnake will still need to be seen as soon as possible by a Veterinarian to determine the proper treatment. A pet bitten by a rattlesnake can get skin infections, have severe tissue swelling, and tissue damage that needs to be managed medically.

Vaccine Details

If a pet has NOT had the rattlesnake series before, OR the pet has missed more than a year, he or she will need the recommended 2-3 vaccine series depending on weight. Small and large dogs require a series of 3 vaccines. Dogs between 26-99 lbs require only 2 vaccines. The rattlesnake series can be started as early as 4 months old.

Vaccine Side effects: The most common side effect is an injection site swelling (Only reported in less than 0.25% of cases) This is non painful and typically self resolving. Otherwise a lesser side effect would be vomiting or diarrhea.

A Rattlesnake Story…

Rattlesnake vs Dog

Having grown up in Anaheim, the danger of venomous snakes wasn’t something I ever had to worry about. After 20 years of living in the Coachella Valley and camping in our local desert that has changed. I’ve seen them under bushes and sunning themselves on rocks but it’s our dogs that are most vulnerable. Usually they are preoccupied with all the desert scents and can be caught off guard by a rattlesnake that is simply protecting itself.

This is what happened a few years back to a good friend’s dog while hiking in our local desert. He had  grown up hunting and camping throughout the Arizona and California desert so he knew the dangers but when your dog is off leash, it’s next to impossible to protect them. His springer spaniel had been sniffing around bushes and loving the freedom of the open desert but before long became very tired. My friend knew something wasn’t right. She was normally very energetic but his springer spaniel could no longer walk on her own. He quickly picked her up, laid her in the back seat of the truck and headed to the closest animal hospital. Unfortunately it was 40 minutes from where they were hiking, he knew it would be close and called me to meet him there. I pulled in the parking lot and saw my friend still sitting in the front seat, she didn’t make it. He got out of the truck, opened the back door and looked her over. That’s when he discovered what he already suspected, a bite wound on her back leg.

We shed some tears and said our remembrances. It was a very sad moment and one that I won’t soon forget. It has also caused me to keep a leash on my dog much more than I otherwise would.

– Desert Dunes Client

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