Snakes on a patio

It's getting so that when I walk into my vet's office, they look up and say, "Another snake bite?"  In a sure sign that spring is here, a water moccasin gave up the ghost at the base of my stairs this morning, but not before hitting the newest little 18-lb. squirt of a dog on the nose.  By the time the NPH got downstairs to see what all three dogs were making such a ruckus about, the snake's body was over here, and the head was over there, still hissing "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee."

The little dog is not awfully swollen and has already been to the vet for injections of antibiotics and prednisone.  I didn't hear her squeal when the snake struck her, but when she got the shots you could hear her shriek a mile away.  She makes the same noise when I pull a sticker out of her foot, the little faker.  For that matter, if she's caught at the rear of the pack and can't get out the door fast enough, she emits the same ear-piercing scream, so that at first I thought I must have stepped on her and torn off a leg at least.  So she doesn't feel very well, but she seems to be OK.

I'm contending with venomous attacks myself.  Earlier this week some kind of critter stung me here and there on the back and side.  I never saw what it was, but the bites have turned into large angry red places, so I'm breaking down and seeing a doctor later this morning.  It's a hostile world.


Cass said...

I'm so sorry! I hope you feel better soon.

Never been bitten (or even threatened, really) by a snake. Water moccasins are just mean, though.

Something got Sausage years ago and he swelled up like he'd swallowed a bag of grapes. I let him sleep with me until he felt better - it was so pitiful.

Grim said...

The worst I was ever stung was in Amisville, VA, when we were moving into the house we lived there. Mud Daubber wasps, which are docile almost all year long, are apparently wildly aggressive one week or so a year. That happened to be the week, and they happened to have built a ton of nests on the underside of the deck of the house we were moving into. It was summer time, so I was wearing just a thin t-shirt for the work, and they stung me over and over again.

Then I had to finish moving.

Texan99 said...

They say mud daubers kill black widows, so we have to put up with some of their bad behavior. I didn't even know they had a sting!

My bites turn out to be nothing of the sort: it's a rather mild case of shingles. Apparently it's just something I have to wait out for another 2-3 weeks, with the help of some heavy-duty antihistamines. From what I've heard of shingles, I'm very lucky to have gotten a little-bitty case: all itch and no pain to speak of.

I did wonder why bites would act like that. Normally I have practically no reaction to any sting, from bees right up to scorpions. But after a staph infection nearly got away from me last year, I'm on the alert whenever anything turns red and doesn't go away promptly.

When I returned from the doctor just now, what did I see between my car and house but another water moccasin. Spring is sprung! He's probably come to seek revenge for his comrade.

Grim said...

Allow me to make a recommendation.

E Hines said...

You also could branch out your pet collection. I suspect they don't think much of snakes generally.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

Oh, you guys. You know I rarely kill vertebrates. The cut-leaf ants, I grant you, we've declared war on. I'd have tolerated them if they'd shown more restraint, but stripping whole branches on my grapefruit tree was going too far. Make way for a higher life form, you little vermin.

But a mongoose does sound fun. I've never known anyone who had one; I wonder why?

Grim said...

I rarely kill anything else. These days, order Rodentia is my playground.

DL Sly said...

Tex, I'm truly sorry you've been hit by shingles, and yet, very happy for that you didn't get the full-blown painful kind. I have a friend who did, and they are not fun. She was in misery for weeks, and still gets bouts of them to this day. I would suggest adding this to the list of "Things to Remain Aware of" in the future. The earlier caught in each relapse, the quicker and easier it is to beat it back.
Again, so sorry you've been hit by this.

As for the other suggestions for the wiggly vermin, I'll second Grim's.

Anonymous said...

Just don't believe that water moccasins are afraid of you. The big ones are not.

As for what to use to kill a snake, I recommend a hoe.


Cass said...

My Dad had shingles years ago and it was awful. He used a cream with capsaicin (basically, red pepper) and it really helped him.

Hope it heals quickly.

Texan99 said...

I've just been reading about capsaicin topical treatment after blisters heal. Mine is so mild I don't really have blisters so far, knock on wood, only a rash. It itches like a somewhat worse-than-usual mosquito bite. Lucky me! Nothing I can't easily tolerate for a few weeks.

I've also been reading about possible connections between shingles and ulcerative colitis, which I supposedly have. My late-onset UC is so atypical, especially in its merciful mildness--years without symptoms--that it's making me thoughtful. I will be reading up on it before the next time I talk to my UC doctor in Houston, a wonderful, thoughtful man who teaches at the Baylor College of Medicine.

I think I'll try the shingles vaccine when this outbreak is over. Though it's recommended only for 60 and older, it's FDA-approved starting at 50. One of the nice things about high-deductible insurance is that I don't have to care whether Blue Cross thinks it's a good idea!

raven said...

Since this is somewhat of a medical thread- For those interested in ACA options-
I finally ended up with a temporary 11 month policy that is basically just catastrophic in nature- outside of the Health Care Ministries, it was the best I could find. No pre-existing conditions, no preventative, $7500 deductible,
$375 a month for my wife and I, in our mid 50's.
I was very pleased with the agent, one of the few I have met who actually took the time to research my questions and get back to me. Let me know if you want his name, and it is acceptable to post it here.

Texan99 said...

I'd love it if you'd email it to me, pending Grim's decision whether it's OK to post: It sounds like you found a good deal.

Grim said...

My considered opinion is that you can post anything you want to talk about among this company. If you have posting rights, it's because I trust your judgment as to what is appropriate. I also trust that, should you be wrong about something, you'll take responsibility for it. So do what seems right to you.

Raven, if you want posting rights yourself, just ask. I'll be glad to have you.

raven said...

Grim, thank you- I do not need posting rights-I do appreciate the offer.