Case Report: Rattlesnake Bite! Homeopathy Cured Two Foals

When Curiosity Can Kill Your Dog

“We live in snake country. Our conventional vets recommend the rattlesnake vaccine, but I wonder if there are any better alternatives?”

Indeed there are.

When your animal’s curiosity could cause her death you want all the options to reverse that snake bite’s damage.

Homeopathy has a long history of saving those envenomated by poisonous snakes and I’ve had a few over the years that corroborate this.

Most near in my memory were a couple of curious foals who’d both been bitten on their muzzles.

I was called rather late in the progression, days if not a week after the incident, and there was notable necrosis (dying flesh) on both foals’ noses.

Cora and Chiva are Kiger Mustangs, and in 2010, got too close to a rattler and got bitten.

Here’s Michelle’s description, after she’d given a remedy I’d prescribed from my snake bite remedy kit the day before:

Both girls swelled up badly; Cora on the right side of her face and Chiva both sides.  After the first remedy, they were still compromised in their breathing and lethargic, so I gave the second early evening  After the second dose of the second remedy, both relaxed after being unsettled all day, and took naps for a few hours.  They were able to eat better than I figured last night and were both in good spirits.

This morning, Cora’s face is almost normal and breathing regular.  Chiva seems worse, swelling higher up toward her eyes and her breathing is very labored.  She seemed to get the effects of the venom over a longer period of time yesterday (where the other filly was immediate), so I am hoping her response time is slower too and I’ll see improvement by this afternoon.”

That first remedy was echinacea in homeopathic high potency, 10M. The herb and the remedy made from it both have a long history of helping snake bite victims. The Plains Indians reportedly used the herb successfully for this very purpose.

The next remedy, and the one that worked in this case and brought both foals back to normal was lachesis, also in 10M potency. Cora probably had less venom, as she quickly responded, while Chiva took more doses over the next couple of days to improve.

Both went on to heal completely and show no residual signs of snake bite within a few weeks.

Why Not Rattlesnake Vaccine?

The rattlesnake vaccine is of questionable efficacy. The manufacturer, Red Rock Biologics shows no study data to support efficacy at all. Hmmm.

My guess is that this is because there is none. If there were data, that would be quite a selling point, wouldn’t you think?

Immunologists and UC Davis Vet School don’t think it’s worthy of recommending. A colleague of mine, practicing in snake country in So. California, relayed that Dr. Michael Peterson, DVM, MS, an expert in venom and snake bites, thinks the vaccine is a joke, and it was “laughed off the stage” at a human medical conference.

If there’s immunity from this vaccine at all, it’s short lived. Some months, perhaps. Even the maker admits this.

Another point against its efficacy: the manufacturer urges the same rush to the ER and same intensive treatment whether your dog has had this vaccine or not when he received his snake bite.

Doesn’t sound very convincing, does it?

Then there’s the safety question. As with all injections of foreign protein into an animal’s body, you really have to question the wisdom of such a procedure. Abscesses at the injection site have been reported, and here’s a case of autoimmune disease I found that came right after rattlesnake vaccination, with denial by the manufacturer at every turn.

Rattlesnake vaccine is also quite expensive, often running $40 or more a shot, and a series is recommended.

The Safe and Efficacious Route: Homeopathy

There are several remedies known to help one respond to envenomation, be that from snakes or venomous insects.

Besides echinacea and lachesis (the latter made from a venomous snake), those who are in Vital Animal Alpha, my acute homeopathy membership group, will recall ledum, a remedy famous for curing illness that comes of bites and stings of all sorts.

The remedies are not used preventatively but in the face of a bite incident. Snake venom typically causes what the old masters referred to as “disorganization of the blood.”

What?

Well, if organization meant smooth flow and appropriate clotting ability, snake venom undoes all that.

Local Damage Done

It’s common to see local bite wound damage, as we saw in the foals’ example above. The circulation in the bite area is impaired and it’s not uncommon to see blue discoloration and feel coolness of the tissue. Those are both symptoms found in the remedy ledum, as is local bleeding, another common outcome from snakebite.

The remedy lachesis similarly has symptoms of blueness and hemorrhage, but is less known for coldness.

Systemic, Bodywide Effects

When a poisonous snake bites its prey, it’s venom not only causes local damage, but it immobilizes the victim, allowing capture and swallowing.

We see the effects of snake bite on the general well being of our animal patients as well, which was why both Cora and Chiva had breathing troubles. As their bodies were grossly larger than a rattlesnake’s usual prey, they were unlikely to die of envenomation, but they surely didn’t feel well either.

Echinacea angustifolia, written up in the homeopathic materia medica includes symptoms of tiredness, weakness, aching in muscles, and “great debility.” The old words of “blood poisoning” and the more familiar ones like “septic conditions” and gangrene are found.

These are my top three remedies for snakebite, but here are some others worth your consideration.

My Own Intoxication: Scorpions!

One of the great things about homeopathic remedies (and, okay, also one of the difficult things) is that there is rarely a single remedy for a single condition. I’ll sometimes send someone to the store for a prescribed remedy when time is of the essence, and on reading the one line description on the vial, I’ll get an email back, asking if I’m sure their itchy dog should take a remedy for “upset stomach.”

How much can the poor manufacturers fit in one line about a remedy that has pages of symptoms in the homeopathic literature?

I live in scorpion territory here in Texas. As such, I’ve had many a painful sting, and I tried all the usual remedies one thinks of for stings, all without success: apis, ledum, lachesis.

Finally, in the fire of pain from my last scorpion sting, I paid closer attention to how I was feeling systemically intoxicated. My lips and tongue had a strange numbness, a symptom I’d had in prior stings by these devils.

As my mind went to remedies, I recalled echinacea, known for this general intoxication symptom and how, when I’d taken the herb in tincture form, it had always made my tongue feel strangely numb.

Eureka! That was enough similarity of remedy and my condition for this remedy to work. After a dose, I could immediately feel the local fire and the general feeling of intoxication subside.

So, if you live in scorpion country, you may want to pick up some echinacea. I’d get it in homeopathic form, but who knows? It could also work in tincture form.

Had any snake bites in your life? Any homeopathic success stories? Tell us about it in the comments.

53 Comments

  1. Aditi on April 7, 2021 at 6:30 am

    Hi Dr. Falconer,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I live in Austin, Texas and would like to know where I can buy these homeopathic medicines. Also, can these be used on humans? I moved here from Montana where I never saw a single snake. And here I am terrified to even go in my back yard lest a snake bite one of us. Just want to be prepared. Thank you!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 7, 2021 at 11:27 pm

      Any HPUS homeopathic pharmacy should have these remedies, Aditi. Ask for #10 size pellets, so they can’t be spit out.

  2. Rachel on April 25, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Thank you very, very much! I will be contacting your office to inquire about the kit. 🙂 Have a beautiful day.

  3. Will Falconer, DVM on April 23, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Rachel, you’ve got it right: it’s all about similarity between remedy and patient. That defines homeopathy, while the exact match (isopathy) has never been as deeply curative.

    Also, I never know what snake my patients might be exposed to and I didn’t want that to matter: they’ll do fine with one of the remedies I provide in the kit.

    • Sharon A. Kissinger on January 11, 2022 at 3:00 pm

      How can I get your kit for snake bite? Not sure my last message got through. Is the name of your kit Aditi? How can I get ahold of it? Don’t know of a pharmacy here in Placerville, Ca. or close by. How can I contact your office?
      Thank you

      Sharon

      • Will Falconer, DVM on January 13, 2022 at 12:31 am

        Hi Sharon,
        It looks like I need to edit this post. As I’m no longer in Austin, I no longer offer this kit. My apologies.

  4. Rachel on April 20, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Mr. Falconer,

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge here, bless you! I hope to be taking several of your courses soon.

    May I ask, why did you choose Lachesis and not Crotalus horr, as that is made from rattlesnake venom? I’ve heard 2 schools of thought, one being: like cures like, not same cures same so choose a similar but not exact match remedy like Lachesis and then there are those who say to match the exact remedy if possible like Croatalus for rattlesnakes.

    Thank you so very much!

  5. Madeleine Innocent on November 30, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I recently had to treat my dog who was bitten by a local snake, a dugite who are common in this area (Western Australia). I didn’t use those remedies, but she was up and about minutes after the first doses of two remedies I use for recent bites. I see snakes quite often, but have no concerns. My dog did seem to learn from this as she kept re-visiting this poor guy, but kept her distance.

    • Nelli on September 5, 2019 at 12:53 am

      Hi, would it be possible to share the remedies you used. I walk my dog in constant fear for him to be beaten as he wandering in the bushes.

  6. Sequoia on June 25, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Hello Dr Falconer,
    As a practicing homeopath, I so appreciate you making this information available to people.
    I’ve had a couple of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes. The worst case was Samson who came home after having run off into the hills near our home shrieking in pain. I found the fang marks on his head and quickly removed his collar- lucky he made it home in time before his head swelled up bigger than a football.
    I immediately gave Ledum and soon began alternating it with Lachesis every 15
    minutes as the wound was oozing blood and the swelling was tremendous. Soon, I noticed that the pain would subside after Lachesis but return after a dose of Ledum. It seemed to me that the Ledum was “antidoting” the effect of the Lachesis.
    So I stuck with Lachesis( it might have been a 200C) for the next few hours, repeating when the pain seemed to be worsening. I held him in my lap for most of the day. He would not drink and wasn’t urinating at all. By evening, I wasn’t seeing improvement and was not quite sure what improvement I should be seeing so I started dosing with Crotalus horridus 30C ( Homeopathic rattlesnake venom)to see if I could abate the swelling and stimulate his body’s healing mechanism a bit more.
    By morning , the swelling was definitely diminished, and he began to drink a little. Later in the day he went outside to urinate and I could tell he was going to be ok. I’d say the entire ordeal lasted 24 hours.
    He recovered completely. No necrosis. No ill effects from the experience. He never stuck his nose into a rattler’s face again!
    BTW Pat Coleby, who was mentioned earlier, says that if you can’t give an IM dose of Vit C, that large oral doses of buffered C ,( 2000-3000mg) given in water every 15-30 minutes or so will work as well for snake bite, or any poisonous bite or sting. One cannot overdose on Vit C and too little is the usual cause of this treatment not working successfully. I carry Sodium Ascorbate in my pack when we walk in the desert. Just in case. My Homeopathic remedies too, of course.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 26, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for the Vit C tip, Sequoia. IM injection sounds irritating though, have you tried that?
      p.s. quite wondrous how effective remedies can be in this scary disease, right? No necrosis even, after Samson was clearly badly envenomated.

  7. April on May 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Dr. Falconer, thank you so much for writing this blog post. Can you provide any information on where I can order the homeopathic Echinacea and Lachesis from? I only have Echinacea in a tincture and herb form. Thanks!

  8. Cassandra on February 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    For my learning I find I am curious how you knew to do a 10M for the foals. My understanding with animals is lower dosage is usually better.
    I am also wondering about the effects of the poison in the system. I did some charcoal and herbals to counteract as well as the homeopathics. Will homeopathics take care of the poison completely without other resources?

  9. Cassandra on February 24, 2018 at 1:43 am

    When I realized I was taking my dog places she could be snake bitten I found a snake aversion class as a preventive measure. At the end of the training the facilitator said, “If your dog gets bitten you should take them to the vet and it can cost $2500.” My response was whoa! there has to be a better way and I need to find it.
    Well I did my research and located options that I was comfortable with to include homeopathy (which I already had some background with). Fast forward 7 years. My dog, an 85 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback female, sustains a poisonous bite on her flank, that takes me overnight to notice as I had been out of town and came in late after dark and didn’t see her limp to her bed. The next day something is wrong but she snaps at me not letting me near her leg. I did some energetic trauma clearing thinking she may have pulled a muscle or broken something. It isn’t until later in the day that she gets up and I can see the swelling on the inside of her leg. It was fortunate that the snake only hit her with one fang.
    A practitioner friend I consult with put Raphaela on her LIFE biofeedback system, we did charcoal capsules to sop up poison, high level dose of Arsenicum, Ledum, and Croatulus. Vitamin C, greens, liver herbs, beets. Croatulus 6c and echinacea herb tincture to follow up. I also did yogurt with plantain herb. Note my dog has been on a predominately raw food diet since I got her when she was 2.
    Raphaela recovered in a few days. She is 10 this year. No noticeable after effects. She acts like a pup and still easily jumps into the pick up.
    Note I am currently south of Santa Fe. I have used Natural Health Supply homeopathics for years and can highly recommend their quality. I would welcome contact with other folks (especially in NM). I have a ton of snakebite research that I have done and am glad to share it if there is a way to get me your email.
    Hello Dr Falconer, I used to live in Austin, and know your name. Thank you for what your are offering to support those of us who want a more wonderful way for our 4 leggeds.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 24, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Nice work, Cassandra! I, too, have seen the proper remedy turn the potentially deadly venomous snake bite victims around. You did a very broad, naturopathic approach as well, all supportive. Raphaela is living proof that there indeed is a “more wonderful way” to raise those furred ones who’ve joined us in our hearts.

      • Cassandra on February 26, 2018 at 12:39 am

        Thank you Dr Falconer. Yes Raphaela is living proof 🙂
        This snake bite learning had some twists and turns as R didn’t get up until after we had her on the LIFE system and it was showing that she needed Arsenicum (poison remedy). She finally went out to relieve herself and when she came back in the swelling on the inside of her leg and the fang mark could be seen. Previously as she was lying curled up in her corner none of that was obvious. And she wasn’t going to let me touch anything. I felt like a bad mom to not figure it out any sooner than I did.
        Note I went to Albuquerque to see the movie A Dog’s Purpose with friends (which is why I got home late). I had had an intuition to take Raphaela with me but didn’t as it didn’t make sense to take her and leave her locked up in my truck the whole time. Sigh. Another learning to listen to my intuition. I do recommend the movie.

  10. Wendy on January 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Hello Dr. Falconer,
    Last summer my half lab was bitten by a rattle snake in between her toes on her back left paw. I had turmerick on hand, as well Benedryl capsules. I also gave her a shot for tetanus. She healed up in two weeks but still has a bright red side on her belly. She had a swollen leg that had turned black and blue, as well as that left side of her belly. Some of the hair around that paw fell out. What can I give her to get the color back to a light pink again on her belly? She’s 10 years old. I’m wondering if it’s permanently damaged tissue.

  11. Kourtnie on June 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    My husbands horse was bitten by a rattlesnake sometime through the night, last night. He is in rough shape, uncomfortable, breathing but you can tell he’s having a hard time, he’s bleeding from his nose and his face is swollen. My husband rushed him to the vet this morning and they gave him some shots. We live in a small town in NM and I was wondering if i ran to the herb store and picked up Echinacea tablets, if that would be okay to give him and how many of the 350mg tablets? I am sorry if this sound like a simple question, I am new at all of this. Thank you in advance.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I was speaking of homeopathic echinacea, not the herbal version so I can’t advise you. But, Dr Dee Blanco is a homeopathic vet in NM and there’s at least one other. Search my Resources page for the AVH list and see who you can find who can get remedies to you. My homeopathic pharmacy is in ABQ, Natural Health Supply. They will have remedies like Echinacea 10M, Ledum 10M, Cedron. Best to have a vet guide you though. All the best.

  12. Kourtnie on June 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    My husbands horse was bitten by a rattlesnake sometime through the night, last night. He is in rough shape, uncomfortable, breathing but you can tell he’s having a hard time, he’s bleeding from his nose and his face is swollen. My husband rushed him to the vet this morning and they gave him some shots. We live in a small town in NM and I was wondering if i ran to the herb store and picked up Echinacea tablets, if that would be okay to give him and how many of the 350mg tablets? I am sorry if this sound like a simple question, I am new at all of this. Thanks in advance.

  13. Kat on March 29, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Hello,
    My cat got bit on the thigh of her right hind leg by a rattlesnake, in April of 2004, when we lived on a ranch, in California. The emergency vet did a blood transfusion and pumped her full of Vit K, and she survived. She’s a tough cat! She’s now 15-16 years old.
    However, I can’t help but wonder if she’s still experiencing health problems because of the bite. Ever since the bite, she’s had a slight limp in that leg, and over the past year or two it will “catch” (won’t extend), sometimes, when she gets startled and tries to move quickly. Also, she’s got hyperthyroidism (I put methimazole on her ear tips), a significant heart murmur and recurring inner/middle ear infections in her right ear (4 times, now). During this last episode, she suddenly experienced major pain in her right hind leg, as well…and then she began to limp on her front right leg. All of the issues are happening on the right side of her body, which is the side of her body she was bit on.
    Would the homeopathic remedies you mention above still help her, 13 years after getting bit by the rattlesnake, or are there more appropriate ones that would work better at this point? Also, where can I purchase the homeopathic remedies?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Kathie,
      No, there’s no simple “give this remedy for this condition” move now, as this is clearly chronic disease. As such, if you really want to do the best for her and see if she has time to be cured (at her age and history, it may not be possible), I’d suggest hiring a homeopathic vet. See my Resources page for the AVH list, do a search limited to those who do 75-100% homeopathy, and those who work by phone. Odds are, you’ll have several good ones to choose from.
      Best of luck with her, what ever you choose.

  14. Rie on April 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    My dad is one of those tough old Cowboys.
    His hand got bit by a rattlesnake way out in Bloody Basin, AZ. He made it to a cold natural spring, laid down, put his hand he was bitten on into the stream of water/creek, kept it much lower than he was and slept. He got sick but obviously survived. The next day it was swollen and sore, but the worst was over.
    Out there it’s such rough terrain that he wouldn’t have made it out to any doctors.
    I need to make sure that echinacea is taken out there and kept on hand next trip.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Wow, Rie, what a story.
      And I think, if I was forced to choose one remedy to pack into snake country, it would probably be echinacea in high potency. So much history with even the herbal form that speaks to the body wide toxicity that follows a poisonous snake bite.
      Thanks for sharing this, and welcome to the Natural Path.

  15. Lizzy Meyer on April 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Several years ago, my Mustang gelding was bitten twice by a rattlesnake just beside his nostril and inside his mouth. I had never treated a snakebite with homeopathy. This horse was very sick from it and was going into shock as well as having breathing problems.
    My gut feeling was that if I got the regular vet involved that he would get laminitis or not do well. I used alot of tools in hindsight but it worked. First I used an essential oil on the bite to help pull out the toxins while I figured out what else to do. Then I did some energy work. The coolest part was watching the herd come over and blow on his nose.
    I gave him a series of homeopathics (including ledum, lachesis, and apis and another for shock) over a few days as his symptoms changed. He also ate homemade fruit/veggie smoothies for high antioxidants and medicinal mushrooms.
    The horse completely healed within 5 days. The vet was stunned as he said the healing that had been done in that amount of time was equal to a horse he treated over a couple of weeks. There was no infection, no tissue death, and the horse was dappled and the soundest he’d ever been after all of this. I’ve got pictures of the whole sequence if anyone would like to see.
    I am a firm believer in homeopathy and its ability to treat snakebites. To a purist, I probably did too much. But, I also learned not to question my own guidance and to use all the tools available depending on what the horse really needed at that time.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 5, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Wow, nice work, Lizzy! From sick to completely healed in five days after two rattlesnake bites is amazing.

      • Lizzy Meyer on April 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

        Thanks! Natural Horse published the story-it was really amazing and I will never forget my vet friend who wanted desperately to help me with his conventional drugs. He was on the phone as I updated him (I promised to keep him in the loop and let him know what was working and that I’d call if I was over my head). He was chuckling and just amazed that he’d healed that fast with ZERO complications. He asked me the “protocol” and he actually was interested for future cases. Awesome!

        • Cassandra on February 26, 2018 at 5:56 pm

          hi Lizzy –
          I would like to see your pictures. How to do that?
          Cassandra

  16. Cindy on March 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I would like to know if homeopathic echinacea can aggravate autoimmune conditions the way the regular herb can?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Who says echinacea will aggravate autoimmune disease? That clearly not true with Transfer Factor, which stimulates the immune system even better, IMO. Immunologists say that a stimulated immune system is a balanced one.
      I’d question your source on that pretty carefully, Cindy.

      • Cindy on March 31, 2014 at 11:34 pm

        I just Googled it and also looked on Google Scholar. I got many hits on “Echinacea and autoimmune”. It appears there is a difference of opinion on this issue. After I had personally had a bad experience with it, my naturopath advised not using it again. My dogs don’t currently have autoimmune diseases and probably it would be better to use it to treat a rattlesnake bite than to worry about it causing them autoimmune disease.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on April 1, 2014 at 8:21 am

          Yes, understand the opinions, I myself had this fear when I started applying using Transfer Factor for my immune challenged patients. Dr. Rick Bennett straightened me out, letting me know about stimulated = balanced immune systems.
          And the possibility is there that you had a bad reaction to the herb in some way, unrelated to your immune system. Herbs are really complex characters, and many have toxic potential. It’s one main reason I’m a homeopath: safe medicine and no chance of toxicity from the remedies themselves.

  17. Esther on March 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    In the post above I mentioned blood coming out of the corner of my husky’ s eye, forgot to add it was not red fresh blood but rather darker in color older blood.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      How about a snake, Esther? Too cold for a snake in the shed? It was something with necrotizing (or at least blood “disorganizing”) venom to see that dark blood.
      i’m so glad the blood didn’t scare you into using more and more remedy. It was a discharge in this case, and part of her healing. It was old, useless blood that needed to come out, and you saw she felt fine and acted well, so watched respectfully. Good work!

      • Esther on March 31, 2014 at 10:54 pm

        Dr. Falconer I think it was too cold for a snake, the shed is attached to the house, I have never seen a poison snake around here in my yard since I am not in a wooded area. I have seen garden snakes, and a couple of all black snakes(which I do not know what kind they are) that they seem to move real fast, almost run I do not think these ones are poison either, but I have seen them in the summer not in cold weather. This happened like a couple of months ago.
        If there was any necrotizing tissue or blood disorganizing it must have been inside her nose close to her eyes. You could not see anything from outside except the swelling on that side.
        Oh no, it did scare me, but I decided to keep my cool and watch!
        Yes, the blood was part of her healing, and the transformation of the animal was amazing. It was obvious she felt much better 20 minutes of so after taking Apis.
        But whatever it was, it is amazing that Apis took care of it. My husband think it could have been a poison spider, but we are not sure.

  18. Esther on March 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Terrific topic again!
    Although we do not live in snake country or scorpions, deep in the woods we do have the copperhead and cotton mouth, so I would like to have the kit just in case. But I have a little story, I have a very plain not very big yard. One typical day, our dogs have been out, and later on my Siberian Husky had her right side of her nozzle close to her eye a bit swollen. She did not wanted me to open her mouth, I thought perhaps was something with her teeth. So I decided to give a dose of hypericum. She seems to be uncomfortable like in pain. It was not helping and by late afternoon the swelling seems to be getting worse, then I took a look at her again and decided to try Apis (she did not appear to have a sting or show any sign of it). Lord and behold in about 20 minutes her swelling started to go down, and blood was coming out from the corner of her right eye. We could see she felt better, relieved from the remedy. Repeated the Apis late that night before bedtime, by next morning some more blood has come out of the same eye, all swelling was gone. She was feeling good, acting normal and my husband and I were amazed at what Apis has done. But we still do not know what had caused her the problem. Was it a spider?, bees were gone too cold for them, we had have snow already. But she was digging behind a shed we have. So Dr. Falconer if you have any idea what Apis might have help with, I appreciate your opinion. Kenna, the Husky completely recovered.

  19. L on March 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Regarding the rabies vaccine, I have a young adult terrier that was a pet shop rescue, he has been vaccinated for everything but rabies (assuming that the paperwork is correct).
    He was sickly and lethargic, but I have him stabilized and I am following your diet recommendations and using minimal chemicals for pest control.
    I can’t license him, should I consider giving him the rabies vaccine one time?
    The problem is, they will make me give it to him again in one year…I would not be adverse to giving him the rabies vaccine once every five years.
    So, it leaves some of us with no options other than to “fly under the radar”.
    Thanks for listening.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      I think it’s most often appropriate to give one rabies vaccination in a dog over 4 months of age. The likelihood is lifetime immunity after this age. But, and this is a big “but:” do this only when the dog is in robust health, showing zero symptoms of illness.
      How to get there? Diet, avoidance of toxins, but most often with a vet homeopath’s help. Diet and healthy living can help a lot, but it’s likely not enough to root out chronic disease.

  20. Katy Widger on March 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I live in rattlesnake country, too, here in rural north central New Mexico. About ten years ago, we came home to find one of our dogs had been bitten just under the jaw while we were away for most of the day. The only local vet available at the time gave her anti-venom and antibiotics, and she survived, but eventually, her muscle tissue just dissolved, she lost sight in one eye, was unable to eat property, drooled all the time, and had a pretty miserable time of it. This was before I “discovered” homeopathy and natural dog rearing, and one of the catalysts to this present natural-rearing path.
    My present dog pack have all been through a rattlesnake aversion clinic held locally by some folks from southern CA, using local rattlers. They were “tested” last summer by a prairie rattler right by the chicken coop. All four responded appropriately, but the littlest one came closer than she should have. Still, it was a teaching moment, since I was present and able to prevent any contact, and able to reinforce the danger. I shudder to think what might have happened had I not been with them at that particular moment.
    I’m anxious to hear about the rattlesnake venom kit; something I’d like to have on hand.
    My present vet is a homeopath, but far enough away to make emergencies hard to deal with if I am unable to contact her. Homeopathy has been a huge part of my present pack’s good health, along with a raw diet and no vaccinations since they came to live with me.
    Thanks for all your good advice and encouragement.

  21. Lori on March 31, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Hi Dr. F.
    Great blog posting this week. Can you please advise on whether you require the “pet versions” of Bach Flower remedies that are made with glycerine or can I use the standard version that are based in a little alcohol.
    Thanks for reminding me about this great tool. I forgot about it. We are doing a lot of house renovations and our Doodle has been acting anxious, which is not her typical demeanor . Have a wonderful week.
    Lori
    Millie and Jordan in Chicago 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I use the original versions for humans, Lori. Just dilute them if the alcohol concerns you.

  22. Dr. Nancy Malik on March 31, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Upto the end of year 2010, there have been 318 studies published in 124 medical journals including 11 meta-analysis, 8 systematic reviews including 1 cochrane review (out of approximately 20 systematic reviews published) and 93 RCT (83 DBRPCT + 7 DBRCT + 3 RCT) out of approx 225 RCT published) in evidence of homoeopathy to produce significant to substantial health benefits in a wide array of conditions.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Nice, Dr. Malik. And those who seek to deny homeopathy’s soundness as a therapy will still somehow do so, ignoring what the many studies and, more importantly to me, what the animals show us.
      Thanks for sharing those stats with us.

  23. Lila on March 31, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Australian author Pat Coleby states in her book Natural Horse Care that she never lost a client from a venomous bite (of which Australia has many species) when she used injectable Vitamin C. We used it effectively on a friend’s wolf-hybrid. I used to get it from my equine veterinarian and always carried it with me when hiking. Unfortunately it is very hard to obtain now.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 5:58 am

      Hi Lila,
      So, I’m assuming the Vit C was given I.V. It’d be difficult for the average person to get this done, especially if a bite happened out in the bush.
      Homeopathic remedies are a simple squirt or drop on the inner lip. Anyone can do it without any training. And, in case it wasn’t clear, the remedies aren’t specific to a species of snake, as my scorpion experience hinted at: venom injection will respond to one of a few choice remedies that are widely available.

      • Rebeccca on March 31, 2014 at 6:14 am

        Would putting the dry pills in the mouth work as well as a wet dose? I could have a dry dose with me when out walking. Thanks.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 7:58 am

          Just as well, yes.

          • Rebecca on April 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

            Thanks! I’ve ordered some lachesis and echinacea for emergencies. Which do you recommend trying first if needed?
            On my morning walk with my puppy, Lena, she was running around and playing. Then I heard her start barking at something. I yelled “no” at her thinking it was a skunk or armadillo. When I got close enough, I saw it was a snake. The dog got pretty close, but the snake did not strike. Lena came to me and I looked more closely at the snake. It just stayed coiled up in the grass next to a fence post. Didn’t get close enough to see if it was a rattler — it had the coloring — or maybe a hog snake. Anyway, it scared me! Making me kind of paranoid – if it’s not rabid skunks, it’s rattlers!



      • Lila on April 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        Thank you for your response Dr. Falconer. The vitamin C was actually given IM not IV. Most importantly, thank you for educating us on homeopathy. I used a homeopathic remedy very successfully, on the advice of a human homeopathic physician decades ago, in ridding my dog of giardia. Of course when I mentioned it to my regular veterinarian he said “oh no sometimes it just goes away on its own.” I have also used flower essences successfully on some conditions. The flower essences are less “scary” for me than homeopathy. I have been strongly cautioned not to use homeopathic remedies based on just symptoms. Which remedy to use and at which potency and for how long is daunting to me to say the least. You mentioned the “difficult things about using homeopathic remedies” in your article, but also the safety in your replies. I will check out your snake bite kit. Thanks again.
        PS I am using a homeopathic remedy currently with an older spayed bitch for urinary incontinence. It seems to be a slow process; would love an article on this in the future if not already archived somewhere.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on April 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

          Yes, Lila, homeopathy demands a certain amount of training to do well, but here’s the good news: it can be easily learned for acute illness treatment! With a handful of remedies and some good training, you can do this and often save an ER trip or two in the lifetime of your animals. If you haven’t already, sign on to get info from Dogs Naturally Magazine, who’ll be re-launching my acute prescribing course, Miracles in Healing in the near future.

    • Dave Ewing on October 22, 2022 at 11:57 pm

      Our lab got herself envenomated by a rattle snake and by the time she made it home in a few hours was in a lot of pain with a large head. I made up some Vita C acid neutralized with bicarbonate about equal weight although exact amount is .45 the amount of bicarbonate to Ascorbic Acid) and made sure it was fully reacted in relatively dilute in clean water since Vitsmin C usually kills harmful pathogens anyway (not real salty to the taste and injected a fair amount in the bitten side of her face with a small needle. Probably 30 or 40 cc. She didn’t appreciate it much for sure but in an hour was feeling well enough to drink a bit with a super swelled up tongue and eat a little canned cat food, her favorite treat, so I started in with Lane Lab Lipo C and gave her probably 4 to 6 of the 1 gm C packets mixed in with the cat food the rest of the afternoon and evening along with a tablet of Benedril ground up, the C in that form is supposed to be a good 5x more effective than regular C so 6gm of C that she got the first day would be more like 30 gm of IV C . Next day continued that course with cat food and Lipo C she was much improved and by the third day end no sign of any necrosis or anything really, hard to find even where she was bitten on the cheek . As I remember I believe I did give her some ALA as well to recycle the C. She was much improved from her arthritis for a good time as well . Abby must have been 12 or so then and lived out her days on the ranch until she was 20! This after I did about the same with our prize Kiko goat ram a couple of years previously, less the cat food ! Gave him Neutral C and other antioxidants on grain to follow up for 3 days. That first round of injections in his face took tying him to a gate and my wife wore out before I was ready to stop but that had to do. Same out come, a 2x sized head perfectly normal in 3 days !
      I didn’t know about homeopathy then like now and sure do appreciate the how to’s for the next time, thanks much !

  24. Rebecca on March 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Last August, my young lab mix got bitten by a snake (either rattler or water moccasin – I didn’t see it) on our morning walk. (We live in the central Texas area). I didn’t realize she’d been bitten until we got home (over a mile walk). Ruthie was acting strangely, so I examined her and found the fang marks (WIDE apart) on her chest! I took her to the vet who gave a her a large dose of Benadryl. She also mentioned that they had one vial of the anti-venin which costs about $600. I couldn’t afford that and the vet didn’t really press me on it. She didn’t really offer any information at all about what to expect or what to do, except wait. So I took the pup (11 months) home and tried to comfort her. I could tell she was in pain, so called the vet back and asked what I could give the dog. She said I should given children’s liquid Tylenol. I got some but that didn’t seem to help the pain at all. Then the skin around the bite marks lost the fur and became black. Lena made it past the 24 hour mark, but was still in pain and was oozing bloody liquid from the bite area. She was also retaining fluid. The vet said the oozing was normal. I got a prescription pain killer and tried that but it didn’t help much either. I was at wits end, searching the internet for something to help. The next morning, (48 hours later), Ruthie seemed worse, so I took her back to the vet. By the time I got her into the office, she could no longer stand. She collapsed and started moaning and crying horribly. The vet who had been working with us went to get her supervising vet who told me there was nothing he could do, so I let him euthanize her. It was a horrible experience for Ruthie and for me. As I was leaving the office, the head vet told me about the rattlesnake vaccine, but he didn’t “really know if it works”.
    I was so sad and angry that there seemed to be nothing I could do for Ruthie. I’ve read that the bite in the chest area was a very bad spot. Then, too, we walked home for that mile or so after she’d been bitten. I don’t know if homeopathy would have saved her given the circumstances, but I plan to have on hand emergency remedies for my current pup, Lena. Nature is cruel sometimes, isn’t it?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on March 31, 2014 at 5:55 am

      A sad tale, Lena. A lot depends on the amount of venom, which varies bite to bite, where it lands, and the vital resistance of the bitten. Remedies have always amazed me in the acute cases like this though.
      I’m glad you’ll be prepared going forward.

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