It’s warming up! If you are enjoying the warmer weather now, so are the snakes! As a matter of fact, while driving home, a Garter Snake slithered in front of my car while at a stop sign. Some of my neighbors have told me that they’ve seen Copperheads about.
Venomous snakes injure over 150,000 dogs and cats every year in the U.S. This data is about 10 years old! So, you can only imagine as we continue to encroach upon their territory, there are going to be more exposures. In our area, the Copperhead is the most common venomous snake; however, there are also Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Timber Rattlesnakes, Cotton Mouths, Pigmy Rattlesnakes and Coral Snakes in Georgia. In north Georgia, the Timber Rattlesnake and Copperhead are most commonly the cause of envenomation in pets and people. Rattlesnake venom is much more potent and deadly than that of the Copperhead. All of the snakes listed with the exception of the Coral Snake are Pit Vipers, which belong to the family Crotalidae. Pit Vipers have triangular heads, elliptical pupils and “pits” or scent glands where there “nose” is (pic. #1).
Pit Vipers in Georgia:
Pit Viper venom contains over 50 enzymes, which damage tissue. The snake uses the venom to immobilize their prey and pre-digest the tissue. Basically, these snakes cannot digest food that well in their gut, so venom breaks down the muscle, the connective tissue and the blood before they ingest it. So, the same thing happens when a dog or cat is bitten. The venom starts to digest the tissue and causes the blood to not clot.
Bites to pets most often occur on their face and front legs. Most owners will say they saw their dog digging after something and then hear a loud “yelp.” Soon after being bitten the area becomes swollen, bruised and very painful.
Signs your pet has been bitten by a venomous snake may include:
• Rapid swelling at the site of the bite;
• Severe pain;
• Bleeding from the fang punctures;
• Discoloration of the skin to dark red or purple;
• Bite marks—these may be difficult to see because the pet’s fur;
• Rapid breathing;
• Collapse (inability to get up); and
• Pale gums.
What to do if your pet is bitten:
• Limit your pet’s activity and keep your pet calm. This will help decrease the venom from circulating throughout the body. The more activity, the more blood flow and faster the heart beats, increasing the amount of venom spread in the body.; and
• Contact your family veterinarian immediately or an emergency veterinary hospital such as MEAC.
What NOT to do if your pet is bitten:
• Do not place a tourniquet above the bite;
• Do not cut over the wound;
• Do not try to “suck” the venom out of the area;
• Do not apply ice to the area;
• Do not apply electrical shock to the area; and
• Do not give any medications.
Typical testing and treatment performed:
• Blood tests to check cell counts, blood clotting ability (coagulation times), organ function tests of the liver and kidneys;
• X-rays of the chest if the pet is having trouble breathing or congestion in the lungs;
• Pain medication;
• Cleaning of wounds;
• Intravenous fluids for shock and blood loss;
• Antivenin administration—this is the best treatment and acts as an antidote to the venom;
• Supplemental oxygen;
• Plasma and sometimes blood transfusion; and
• Hospitalization and observation.
This past Friday on day two of the Mountaintop Holiday Classic, the Lady Bobcats traveled to take on the Lady Rebels. The Lady Bobcats were coming from a win on day one of the tournament while the Lady Rebels were well rested from the bye game that was scheduled on the first day. Both teams came ready to play and were hungry for another win.
It appeared to be an even matchup from the start. Gilmer had the hustle on defense while Fannin had the determination on offense. The Lady Rebels seemed to score the majority of their points off plays. Lady Rebel, Maleah Stepp, led Fannin in scoring with thirteen points with her will to win. The Lady Bobcats made most of their points from driving the lane and playing in the moment. Lady Bobcat, Mallory Kiser, led her team in scoring with nine points due to her grit. Lady Rebel post, Mackenzie McClure, was on fire with her outside shots which put her right behind Stepp in scoring with ten points. Lady Bobcat guard, Taylor Boling, was behind Kiser in scoring with seven points overall. With the first quarter coming to an end, the Lady Rebels were just one point ahead of the Lady Bobcats with a score of 13-12.
The second quarter was back and forth. Neither team could keep a consistent lead for the eight minutes on the clock. The Lady Rebels started to play scrappy on defense and began rebounding. Lady Rebel, Bailey Whitener, got aggressive down low and contributed three points for her team. Another Lady Rebel, Maddie Johnson, got after it and scored five points after getting steals on defense. Gilmer started looking up the court to find Lady Bobcat, Marylee Callihan, who also put five points on the board for her team. Number twenty-four for the Lady Bobcats, Emma Callihan, put her all into the game and contributed four points for Gilmer. With Fannin in the lead halfway through the quarter, Lady cat Michaela Staley drew a foul and made two of her foul shots. Staley’s two points tied up the game. Gilmer continued to score and further their lead until the end of the second quarter. It was the Lady Rebels ball as the clock was winding down and Reagan Henderson happened to be wide open. Henderson received a beautiful pass down low which resulted in her making a buzzer beater shot and contributing two of her overall three points to tie the game 23-23.
With both teams having the same chances of winning, Fannin found their spunk. The Lady Rebels started to draw fouls from driving the lane. Lady Rebel, Hope Franklin, drew two fouls from the block and contributed two of her four points from the foul line. However, Fannin was not the only team to draw fouls. Lady Bobcat, Katie Kiker, drew a foul and put one point on the board for Gilmer. As Fannin’s lead extended, Gilmer came alive on the block. Lady Bobcat, Faith Ralston, scored two of her three points from down low. Another post for Gilmer, Jasmine Staley, contributed two points for the Lady Bobcats from under the basket. Gilmer’s lead strayed farther from Fannin’s which resulted in the score being 31-25 at the end of the third quarter.
With Gilmer down by only six points, they were determined to make a come back. Both teams wanted to win and it showed through their hustle and intensity. With Gilmer trying their best to catch up to Fannin, the Lady Rebels tried just as hard to keep their lead. Although both teams had the heart to win the game, one had to lose. The Lady Bobcats played an amazing game, but were five points away from victory. The Lady Rebels 38-33 win over the Lady Bobcats put Fannin in the championship game to be played the next day against the Lady Dragons.
The Lady Rebels win puts their overall record at 7-6 while the Lady Bobcats record also stands at 7-6. Catch the Lady Rebels next region game at Fannin County High School on January 5 against GAC starting at 7:00! Or catch the Lady Bobcats next region game on the same day and at the same time as they travel to take on Northwest Whitfield!
This sweet little girl is absolutely adorable. Abby is just a pup and is full of life. She loves to give kisses. Abby is part hound dog and has a face anyone could fall in love with. She would be a great addition to any family. Call or visit the Humane Society of Blue Ridge today to find your forever furry companion.
If you know BKP and Sam, then you know who the real stars of our Friday shows are. This week the star and Pet of the Week is Ziggy! Ziggy even dressed up for his star performance! He is a little timid but once he warms up to you he is such a lover. He is good with other pups and even cats. He would be a great addition to your family. If you are looking for a new companion to add to your family contact the Humane Society of Blue Ridge today.
Mon – Fri: 10 AM to 5 PM
Sat: 10 AM to 2 PM
Closed Tue & Sun
April 22nd was a gorgeous day for the 10th Annual Taste of Blue Ridge. The event is hosted by the Humane Society of Blue Ridge and is a fun fundraiser to assist its mission in the endeavor to provide for animals in need.
This year’s event was spectacular with delicious food from all over including The Vault, Shane’s Rib Shack, Blue Jeans Pizza, Mesquite Grill and Mercier Orchards to name a few. There was also a wide choice from wine & beer vendors and a special dessert section with a special shout out to Sweet & Southern Sugar Co which won us over with the mint chocolate cupcakes. When you walked through the display of silent auction items it was impossible to pass up bidding on something, whether it was a special piece of art, a handmade quilt, or one of the special baskets filled with goodies.
The music was provided by the Loose Shoes Band who did a great job entertaining the sold out crowd. FYN hasn’t received the total raised yet however judging from the turnout we think it may be a record year.