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Cats/Snakes & early summer in the South

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posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 10:59 AM
Morning all. I just wanted to put down a few lines about keeping your cat safe from snakes. Yesterday I had to have 1 of my 8 put down from a snake bite. Pretty sure it was a CopperHead, as I had seen a couple in the yard earlier in the spring. I should have known they were close as I had never seen a Copperhead out side the woods. One was on my front steps, damn near stepped on it. The other was when I was tilling my garden. I laid to rest Ms Minnie, she was 17 years old and quite the matriarch of my cat family. If you see a snake in or around your yard, keep your cats indoors. I wish I would have followed my own advice, but I never dreamed Minnie would go messing with the snake. So be on the safe side if you see one. Keep the lil critters indoors. Peace OYM1262

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 11:04 AM
a reply to: openyourmind1262

Sorry to hear that mate, losing a pet sucks. We have problems in Aus with snakes and pets as well, but I don't think there's any solution....cats will be cats I suppose..

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 11:08 AM
Aww...sleep sweet, Ms Minnie. I am so sorry for your loss. 'Grew up in North Carolina and we always had Copperheads hanging about. Nasty creatures! I stepped on one by our driveway, once. 'Lucky I wasn't bitten. Our Golden Retriever had an encounter on one of his rambles in the woods. His poor nose swelled up like Snoopy's, but he lived.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 11:21 AM
One of my coworkers saw a firefly here in Eastern PA last night.
He says once you see them, the weather will stay warm until autumn.
I like snakes more than cats.
edit on bu302014-06-03T11:22:34-05:0011America/ChicagoTue, 03 Jun 2014 11:22:34 -050011u14 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 12:03 PM
a reply to: openyourmind1262

That advice also goes for us dog owners to. I live in North TX and the copperheads are already slithering around out here. I love most snakes, but it's the poisonous ones that I just cant stand.

If you see a snake in or around your yard, keep your cats indoors.

And make sure to bash that snakes head in. (as long as it's a poisonous one). I personally choose to use a shovel on them.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 01:16 PM
So back when I was 11 or 12, I spent a summer at my uncles farm in oklahoma building his soon to be new home. One afternoon I saw a snake. I figured it was not poisonous, it was maybe two and a half maybe three feet long. I picked it up by the tail and it started swinging its head like it wanted to bite me. I dropped it and picked it back up by its jaws. I then walked the half mile to the house to show off the huge snake. I wondered what the liquid was that was pooling in its mouth. When I got to the house, my uncle started yelling its the biggest copperhead he had ever seen. Boy did I get lucky.

On a related note, and I can't back it up with anything but personal experience, but if you have ducks around, the snakes leave.

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 05:27 PM
You are totally right. Where I am in Texas, out in the country as it were, we kill many copperheads every year, and already this year I have killed a cottonmouth in my fenced front yard. Cat had it. Somehow that cat had incapacitated that cottonmouth. But there is a good reason for that in this instance. Lying beside the cottonmouth was a small frog, not fully grown but not really a baby, a little bigger than a mouse, and it had two fang marks in its back. It was dying, and the cottonmouth looked injured in some way, as it was wriggling and turning over like snakes do.

The cat was lying nearby, looking very pleased with herself, and I knew that somehow she was responsible. I assume that because the snake was busy with the frog that the cat got very lucky. Cats are quick, but they are nothing like a mongoose. They cannot always easily dodge a snake strike. As a matter of fact, I don't see how they ever could, but I have seen it done so I know it can be done. Cats seem so lazy but they are very agile when they wish to be. Fascinating animals in my opinion. I also think the purring has something to do with self-healing, maybe some type of vibrational thing, thus why cats also purr when distressed or injured. Maybe that is why people say cats have nine lives. They are quite resilient.

I have also seen a cat die from a snakebite, a copperhead as well, and I have seen a dog die from a rattlesnake bite, and I am only 27. I don't want to see anymore. I saw the aftermath of a copperhead bite on a relative as well. The good news is that copperheads, by far the most common type of venemous snake in the south, or at least in my area, are very docile animals. Unless one steps on it, pokes it, or in some way agitates it, it will not bite you 90% of the time. And a bite from one of these snakes is not likely to be fatal to an adult. It could happen I suppose, especially if one doesn't receive treatment.

I have found that many people do not know what to do if they are bitten by a copperhead. It is probably pretty common in the south so information is important. The bite site will be extremely painful. Like really extreme. A sure sign of envenomation is bruising or swelling around the area. One will want to go to the hospital simply because of the pain, but an anti-venom will need to be administered to reduce tissue loss. You could survive a bite without going to the ER, but you wouldn't want to and would suffer some long-term damage most likely. It is also important to remember NOT to take anything for the pain before going to the ER. They will administer an intravenous painkiller once there. The main reason for not taking anything is that it can mask the pain and potentially cause the staff not to promptly administer medications. Technically speaking this should not be the case, but I wouldn't take that chance. Anything taken orally will not kick in before you get to the hospital anyway, as long as one is within a 30-60 minute radius.

Children being bitten is much more dangerous, as they are smaller. Pets, like a cat, being so small, stand little chance of survival without extremely prompt intervention, and that would likely cost quite a bit as well. I am not sure but I can imagine. I had a puppy get the parvo-virus once and that cost over a grand to save him, and all they did was give him fluids and anti-nausea medication, and maybe something else but I don't remember. If that ever happens to you see about treating the animal at home, administering fluid injections in the back as it will likely save you some money. Or just get them vaccinated. But that particular dog had been vaccinated, but it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to actually cause the immune system to build up a defense. In every case I have seen the dog comes into contact with a strange dog, in my case through the fence...

I am not certain about cottonmouth bites, and honestly I think cottonmouths are easier to spot than copperheads. We had a bunch of rain when that cottonmouth came into my front yard after that frog, so maybe that had something to do with it. Another thing to remember is copperheads are going to be more active at certain times of the day, depending on how hot it is. If the temperature is in the 90's, or say 95 degrees or above, they are going to find a cooler place to lie. I've been seeing them on the roads frequently recently, and I assume that in the mornings they are coming out to raise their body temperature. Snakes move slower when they're colder. So when the temperatures are between say 75 and 90 degrees, give or take, the snakes will likely be more active.

Honestly though rarely have I seen a copperhead moving around. They are always just chilling. They only attempt escape when you scare them by actually touching them or getting extremely close. Another thing to remember is that cottomouths are more aggressive, and overall more dangerous than copperheads. I have always avoided getting into water that is still when I cannot see into it, say like a creek or pond, simply because I know a cottonmouth could be around. Oh, I remember one time I saw a copperhead that was probably four feet long. Biggest one I've ever seen and I had to double check to confirm that is what it was, considering its size. They are usually only maybe two feet long at the most, from what I normally see. I did not know they could get so big.

Another thing is that sometimes it can be hard to tell a copperhead from another kind of snake. Usually they are very distinct, with that copper color, but sometimes they are more on the grey side. The best way to tell is look at them from the side. Their pattern looks like Hershey kisses, kind of a semi-triangular shape. It is harder to tell from the top, but there is more of a dumbbell type pattern, like a bowtie, although usually there is just a single band across the back, with the ends being on the side of the snake, thus why it is easier to tell from the side. I advise you to kill any venemous snake you encounter IF it is near a place where people live. When you have an animal that could potentially kill you, and kill you without hesitation or thought, that animal must be done away with if it is within a location where people could potentially get bitten. Snake lovers be damned, lol. And for the love of God don't keep a venomous snake as a pet. THAT is how most people get bitten. Stupidity if you ask me, except for those who are actually herpetologists. I knew a guy with a pet rattlesnake once. Moronic imo.

Well anyway I just thought I would impart what I know as maybe it will help someone. I am sorry for the loss of your cat, and I know how you feel. I gravitate a bit more towards cats myself as opposed to dogs, although I like most dogs as well. At least a dog will bark at a snake, while a cat could have one without you ever knowing. I've heard that keeping goats around will eradicate a snake problem if you have one, but I don't know if that is true. We had a miniature donkey around before we gave him away because he thought he was the king of the world and tried to boss the horses around, but I don't know if he helped the snake problem, lol. He definitely caused a lot of problems though. Whenever I have seen an animal bitten by a snake they swell up a lot too. But I have seen swelling like that in animals, which I assume was from a snake bite, but the animal lives and the swelling goes down on its own. I suppose it depends on the amount of venom

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:17 PM
I want kill the snakes I find in my yard. Their there for a reason. I just get a grab stick thingy i got and take them further into the woods. Ive killed one and that's because it had gotten inside the house. Most of the times they are'nt around like this year. For some reason Ive seen more snakes this spring/early summer than ever before. I'm gonna hate that come black berry picking time. Thanks for all who replied. OYM1262
edit on 3-6-2014 by openyourmind1262 because: (no reason given)

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