As many of you know from earlier posts, I despise snakes. Generally speaking, they stay away from me, and I sure as hell avoid them whenever possible. Aside from the herpetological porn I witnessed awhile back, I’ve had one other indirect, but eventful, run-in with a venomous snake. I must digress for a second to set up my story, though.
Two summers ago, when Lil’ P. was a mere bun in the oven, I endured hyperemesis—death by puke extreme morning sickness. I found myself pretty much couch-bound with a bucket for the first four months, then continually nauseous until Lil’ P. emerged. The anti-emetic drugs stopped working, and I lost twenty pounds.
My OB took pity and had a home health nurse come out weekly and hook me up to IV’s so I wouldn’t die could maintain some sort of hydration. The nurse would run in some anti-barf meds, too, which helped tremendously. Each juicing session cut the puking back by half; so much so that I could actually do a few things around the house, and hang with Lil’ K. and my stepdaughter, Big A.
After one particular liquification, I really needed to go to the store. Even though I could only eat popsicles and strawberry Pop-Tarts (God only knows why), the rest of the family needed sustenance. Lil’ K. was all ready to go, and Big A. was pumped to help. I heard a strange thud on the front porch and ran out to check before heading off to Wally World. There lay our crackhead beagle, sides heaving strangely. She picked her head up, and one side of her face was double the size of the other. I’d never seen a snakebit dog, but I’d read enough to recognize that Crackhead had tangled with a copperhead. By the looks of things, the snake soundly whipped her spastic little ass.
I left Lil’ K. in Big A.’s capable hands, had a puke for the road, sacked up my drooling hound, and headed for the vet’s office.
Upon arrival, I glanced at the pair of us (actually, there were three if you count Lil’ P.) in the security mirror outside the office door. My eyes were bloodshot and almost as swollen as Crackhead’s. At least I didn’t look like I had softball up my nose like the dog did. I hurled in the bushes, popped a breathmint, and we headed inside.
After administering a $100 shot of Benedryl and antibiotics and observing my poor hound, the vet declared that the dog had, indeed, grappled with a copperhead. She sent us home with another $100 worth of steroids, allergy meds, and antibiotics for me to administer three times per day for the next three weeks. I heaved in the trashcan and noted the onset of the anti-puke medicinal headache.
When I returned home, I sorted out all our respective pill bottles. My kitchen looked like a Wal-Greens. I then went on the Internet to learn more about the ramifications of copperhead bites for dogs. I learned that no dog has ever died from a copperhead bite. None. It seems that they swell up and get better on their own if the bite itself does not become infected. I searched a variety of vet sites and found the same information.
I sighed and gave the dog her first dose of high-dollar medicine. She looked at me through her swollen eye, wagged her tail cautiously, and tried to pant with her swollen tongue.
Crackhead and I then settled on the couch next to my IV pole and bucket to watch a little TV. Wouldn’t you know it? Snakes on a Plane was playing. NOT!