Monday, May 24, 2010

Copperhead Bitten Beanie

Triumphant Weekend Otherwise

My brother's Boston terrier Beanie got bitten Saturday by a venemous copperhead snake.  When it first happened my brother thought perhaps Beanie had sprained his shoulder as he would not walk on his left front leg.  I had had a dog bitten by a copperhead many years before and was suspicious of a snake bite right away, but my brother was sure he had hurt his leg.  Being Saturday afternoon, our local vet was not in, so we took him to the nearest emergency vet about 35 miles away.  About five minutes into the ride, my brother said "Beanie's foot is swelling, and I think I see fang marks and venom is seeping out".  Definitely a snake bite, and since we kill three or four copperheads a year in my yard we knew what kind it was.

As luck would have it, I carry Benedryl (the wonder drug) with me everywhere because of my numerous allergic reactions, and how we had treated the dog years ago had been aspirin and benedryl (per the vet's instructions) so we gave him 25 mg. of Benedryl.  Almost immediately the swelling stopped getting worse (poor Beanie's foot was about twice the size it should have been) and Beanie seemed to be in less pain, and a little sleepy (a good side effect of Benedryl).

We get to the emergency vet, and he says (confirming what my vet said years ago) that dogs are hard to kill with snake bites.  Benedryl would have been given, but since we had already given that they were able to skip that step, and give him prednisone, antibiotics (because snake mouths are NASTY dirty), and some pain killers.  Poor Beanie was really really stoned but in no pain the rest of the evening.  Today his foot was much smaller and he was able to walk on it.  The meds will need to be continued the next few days, but Beanie is a very reluctant pill taker, so administering the pills is a challenge.  He's out here on the couch sitting near me wanting my sympathy while everyone else is asleep.  I'll sing him his sleepy song soon to help him go beddy bye.

Other than the Beanie crisis, I have had a pretty good weekend.  I have push mowed part of my lawn, weed eaten part of the lawn, cooked and shopped for groceries - on top  of working about a 60 hour week last week and traveling.  The Headache is trying to pitch a fit this evening, but hadn't had a peep out of it for the last two days, even with all the exercise.  Woo Hoo!!!  Hoping I have finally whooped some of the problem excercising out of The Headache.  Maybe I can start swimming again this summer or walking in the evenings?

The Legs are not so happy, but their pain is nothing compared to The Headache so I'll take a little bad with the good, no problem.  I see the physiatrists tomorrow morning, so will see what they have to say about The Legs.  My PCP thinks they will be able to do facet blocks to help me, I am not so sure myself.  Some of these have to be guided by contrast enhanced flouroscopes or CT scans, so no go on that for me.  No contrast unless life or death - the anaphylatoid reactions are just too scary for me.

Am somewhat worried about The Cleveland Clinic, as I am supposed to keep the stinky palm pilot headache diary one more month for the conclusion of the study, which should be soon, but I have not heard from them.  I will try and contact the study coordinator tomorrow as I am about so booked up with travel the next few months I won't be able to have any free time to go to Cleveland!

I am going to try to switch immunologists from Kansas City to a local group.  After my local immunologist died a couple of years ago there was no one locally to go to, but they have finally recruited someone to the area.  I thought I would give him a try because while I have great doctors in Kansas City, the drive is becoming harder and harder for me to do because of The Legs.  I have an appointment locally on June 15th.  They were able to put me in as an established patient because I had been seeing the old immunologist.  Whew!  Otherwise it would have been about a year wait for an appointment, which was almost how long I had to wait for the first Kansas City appointment.

My sister was a sweetheart and loaned me many miles of extension cords to help me with my mowing/weedeating extravaganza.  I have an electric pushmower and a light weight electric weed eater.  My brother assisted by doing the majority of the mowing with his lawn tractor, but I did the portion in front of the house and one of the side yards.  I think I have somehow gotten exposed to poison ivy or I'm allergic to something because I have little tiny spots of intensely itching lumps all up and down my legs, on my face, in my hair, down my arms, on my fingers, and down my back.  Sigh.  I did get a little sun without getting a sun burn which is a major accomplishment for me.  I generally burn all summer long!

Travelling again Tuesday and Wednesday, planning on being back Thursday.  Will be traveling the last part of June/early July to yet another client's, but hoping that the next install the new trainer will have enough training under her belt to strike out on her own!  She has been great, a real asset to the install team, I'm so glad she is with us.


  1. Oh my goodness, what dogs will get themselves into. So glad everything turned out okay!

    As for you dear one, the busy one, glad you were able to enjoy the outdoors for the most part despite an allerigic reaction and your own pain.

    Blessings to you.

  2. Oh, poor Beanie! Good thing you were prepared to know what it was and have the meds on hand :) I'm so impressed with your ability to travel around and work such long hours despite the pain.

  3. JBR: Thanks for the blessings, feel they already came true because I had such a nice weekend out side!

    Migrainista: I carry so many meds with me when I travel they call me the walking medicine cabinet at work!! Came in handy with the snake bite (I also carry two epi-pens but was afraid the dose would be too much for such a little dog).

    I have no alternative to working except be desparately poor, and have come close enough to that the last three years to scare the bejeebers out of me.. I have had some pretty bad nights on the road, but nothing I have not been able to handle yet (knock on wood!)

  4. I'm so glad Beanie is OK and you had your drug store of medications that you could help him on the way to the vet. That's great you were able to get into the immunologist as an established patient and not have to wait so long. I hope everything works out for you!

    I'm glad you could enjoy a weekend outside and hope you have many more, but maybe a little less itchy.

  5. MP: Hoping for a summer of freedom, even at the price of itchiness.

    Beanie is back to normal today, don't think there is even going to be any tissue damage from the bite. However, he is looking for a lot of sympathy! Wish I could find the snake and kill it though. Don't mind benign snakes but have no tolerance for copperheads.