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Thread: Snake Advice

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Snake Advice

    I looked out my back door earlier and saw my malamute jumping around in an erratic way. She kept flipping something up in the air and catching it. At first I thought it was a piece of rope. Well, as the thread implies, it wasn't. It was a very ticked off snake. It was striking at her face and possibly made contact a few times. So, I ended up killing it with a shovel. My apologies to all snake-lovers out there. I'm usually very "live and let live" with snakes. Just not when they are biting my dog. Granted, my dog probably started it, but like all mothers, I side with my babies.

    Anyway, after killing it, I inspected it and it appeared to be a harmless garter snake. I came inside and double-checked on the internet and am confident that's what it is. There aren't any other snakes in this area that look much like it. Garter snakes aren't poisonous, but they do have a few toxins in their saliva that makes their bites fairly unpleasant (burning) and they release another toxin through their skin that makes their attackers ill.

    So I'm in need of two pieces of advice.

    1) First of all, my dog. She was salivating heavily and eating grass, so I know she got a mouthful of yucky stuff. However, she only gets taken to the vet when she needs a shot or if its life and death. Why? Well, because she's rather like handling an angry, insane elephant when she's out in public. It takes two or three people to hold onto her (remember, these dogs are used to pull heavy freight), she pukes in the car, and she has to be muzzled because she hates other animals. So whenever she's taken to the vet, it has to be carefully orchestrated. She has to enter through the back door like some sort of doggy potentate, bypassing the lesser dogs in the waiting room. SO, since her life isnt in danger, does anyone know of a homemade solution for the burning, unpleasant taste in her mouth?

    2) This was a young snake. Now I'm afraid there might be a whole nest of them somewhere, just waiting to come out. My daughter is NOT happy about the discovery of a snake in the yard and I'm afraid one more sighting will keep her in the house indefinitely. Does anyone know of any (preferably humane) methods of keeping snakes out of the yard? I don't like the idea of fighting snakes all spring.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    I don't think that you'd need to take your dog in to get a shot, or anything for that matter. I grew up with tons of garter snakes (grew up in the country) around, and I experienced them with pets as well. I never took any of my dogs in, or any of my cats.
    But, that doesn't mean that you can fully trust another person's experience over your own. I suggest giving a call to your vet and asking. I'd bet that they'd say that he's alright.

    In regards to de-snaking the yard. I really don't think there is any certain way to completely rid all snakes from coming in your yard. Unless you built a brick wall around the property, and I don't think you want to do that. I also don't think your house will become Snake Central. Chalk it up as an unfortunate slither for the snake. R.I.P. Gartarino {sniff}
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    all hot air Ana Bannana's Avatar
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    Okay Star - I would be just like your daughter. Don't like snakes, never did, never will. I would suggest a friendly call to your vet and explain the situation - they should be able to advise you.

    I have a friend who gets DOZENS of snakes in her yard every spring! I refuse to go to her house! She thinks I am silly. Better silly than have a premature need to wear Depends!

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    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Oh my, Star. Our old dog used to catch mice and play with them that way (I hate, hate, hate rodents...I'm not scared of them, but despise the little disease-carrying bastards).

    I have no advice, except to keep your dog out of the house today, as from the sounds of it she may have an upset tummy later, and you don't want to be cleaning THAT up. Maybe just give her plenty of water and a treat?

    Also, I wouldn't worry about more snakes coming into the yard, as it sounds like you have a snake-hunting dog. Just tell your little one that the dog will catch and kill any nasty snakes that come into the yard so she doesn't have to worry about them.
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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Update. I just talked to her vet a few minutes ago. I ended up getting paranoid and just calling to be on the safe side. He said that as long as I could identify the snake as a garter (which I can), that she should be fine. He just wants me to give her plenty of water and observe her over the next few hours for any other signs of distress.

    No way to de-snake? God, I hope that's not the case.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    Tie up live mice..dangle them from a low bush... every time a snake eats it, it'll be hanging there! Easy for you to baseball bat them to death.
    Hmm..except your daughter will start believing that snakes grow from trees.
    Ok, forget it. I have no solutions for ya.
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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane View Post

    Also, I wouldn't worry about more snakes coming into the yard, as it sounds like you have a snake-hunting dog.
    It looks like you were right. I just went out to check on Sasha and she was dragging something around. I thought she had somehow gotten the first snake again, but it was a different snake! She'd killed this one before I got out there.

    This SUCKS. I don't want snakes in my yard. Do mothballs work? I keep thinking I heard that somewhere.

    On the bright side, my dog is acting like she feels better, despite the second second snake.

    Maveno, your low-lying bush idea is cracking me up.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Good lord, Star--two snakes in one day? I'd be calling the real estate agent. I cannot stand free-range snakes!

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    MRD
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    Don't put out mothballs if you have pets or a little one around. They are toxic to them.

    You can call an exterminator and ask them if they desnake yards.

    Just remember they are harmless. I mean, I wouldn't want to touch one or anything, but it does not bother me to see them in the yard.

    Frogs, well now THAT is a different story. LOL!
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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Oh, I hate to call an exterminator. Maybe they'll have some humane ideas for keeping them out, though. I'll try that.

    I'm hoping these two are from the same batch and after today, they'll be gone. They were really little. I have the creepy suspicion they just hatched.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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