Anyone in Texas and familiar with Big Bend Nat. park and dogs and snakes?
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Thread: Anyone in Texas and familiar with Big Bend Nat. park and dogs and snakes?

  1. #1
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Forestburgh, NY

    Anyone in Texas and familiar with Big Bend Nat. park and dogs and snakes?

    I am planning a vacation to the park and bringing my dog. She is Brittany and constantly on the hunt for mice, chipmunks and any other vermin that live in ground holes. We will be there the first week of March and I have some concern about snakes and scorpions with her stuffing her snout down every hole. I need to know if I need to be all that concerned in early March and what you all do with your dogs who do the same. She won't bother with a snake above ground but has never been around rattlers/scorpions that might be down a hole.

    Would a bite in the snout from either kill the dog? Is there precautions I should take other than leashing her 24/7?


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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Turtle Wrangling the Sierras
    I'm no expert but the most rattlers I've ever encountered were on a hillock just NW of Big Bend park boundary. Now this was height of summer in 110 degree heat and I foolishly was seeking shade and shelter along a limestone shelf after a long hike. One buzz was followed by another and soon I seemed to be sharing the blocky outcrop with dozens of them. They would certainly have attracted a curious dog. Marfa might be the closest vet which might be too far.
    The amount of venom injected varies quite a bit on snake age and mood at the time with the older snakes husbanding their venom supply a bit more in defensive situations. They need that to secure meals.
    Big Bend scorpions I have no experience with.
    If you take your dog I would try to keep her leashed or supervised as much as practical.
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    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Gonna depend on the temps if they are out and about, but yes, there are boatloads of snakes there, including rattlers for sure!!
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    Senior Member pred's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Philadelphia and Pittsburgh pa
    Diamond back rattler VS dog, Well, You will be very sad,
    I would not worry about scorpions as their sting is like a wasp and my dog has run into plenty of bee stings in the schnozzle but I would ask you vet about a sting remedy,
    The diamond back rattlers can get pretty big and pump a good amount of venom swiftly, A 5 to 6' can dump a couple ounces into you in one swift bite,
    Ide ve very concerned about them in that area as its so far south the rattlers will be active all rear round,
    Please be careful,
    Ide keep my beloved beagle on a leash there for sure,
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Lomax's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    NE Texas
    I know that dogs can survive bites from Various snakes but I think that a Rattler would be too much for a dog, especially a smaller one. Some vets will sell you the shots (at least one here did for us because we couldn't afford an office visit) when Jake got Bit. Not sure what kind got him though, prolly a Copperhead. You might check with your vet and see if they could/would do something similar for you that way if the situation arises, you will be prepared
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  7. #6
    Ken is offline
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Houston, Texas
    I have no idea about rattle snakes. I would say make sure your dog avoids them. I have always had more issues with copperheads or water moccasins in my area. My brother lives near Austin and they have dog training to teach the dogs to leave them alone, they have some rattlesnakes around there. I have never been to Big Bend. I am more accustomed to the piney woods.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Joemama's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Lake County, Ca.
    Big Bend National Park reguires dogs b
    to be kept on leash no longer that 6' at all times.
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  9. #8
    Junior Member ADVreader's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Placerville, CA
    National parks are not particularly pet friendly. Go to the Big Bend website and under "info" there is a section on their pet policy. (Couldn't post a link as this is my first post)

    I visited two years ago in January, in the park my dog is either in the rv, car or on leash.

    There is a rattlesnake vaccine that your vet can give prior to your trip.
    Last edited by ADVreader; 01-07-2017 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Retarded
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Turtle Wrangling the Sierras
    Snake aversion classes for your dog supposedly have a high success rate; the instructors basically terrify your dog with real and/or simulated snakes. Graduates then want nothing to do with snakes.

    Indeed National parks are not pet friendly. Canyonland's Needles District actually will deny access at times to those with dogs supposedly due to concerns of heat stress. This happened to me once so dogs and I legally camped and romped off-leash perhaps 3 miles away on BLM land. Same temperature, same environment, same risks but just a different jurisdiction.
    Not sure if Big Bend will permit you to leave a pet un-attended in a vehicle while you go riding. I would suggest calling the Park for clarification on dog rules and risks before doing extensive planning to take your four footed companion. If they have prohibitions perhaps they can recommend a boarding facility.
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    Senior Member Hoot Gibson's Avatar
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    Critters we encountered last March at Big "Not in South Texas" Bend....included Coyotes, Road Runners, and senile Old Farts in we know that there are Snakes of all kinds, and biting critters, but with lows expected in the 30s and highs usually in the 70s {give or take 10 degrees} we had Zero problems....but if we run into BIG Critters this time around I have instructed Montezuma to kill em, and add them to our Campfire Chili...
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