Welcome to Kris's Korner!
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Kristiina began her college career in 2008 as an English major at Sierra College, with the hopes of becoming a writer. Shortly after Kristiina received her associate’s in English, her cat became injured and she realized her love for caring for animals. Kristiina decided to make the unnerving decision to change her educational plans and join the veterinary technology program at Yuba College.
The season is coming! May's topic for Kris's Korner is Rattlesnake Awareness
Hello! My name is Rex and I am a 2 year old yellow lab. My human is the best human ever! He spends time with me every day and gives me belly rubs. I know I’m a spoiled pup. We love to spend as much time as we can outside. We get very restless when the weather won’t let us go outdoors, but now it is warming up and it hasn’t rained in a couple of days. My human says it’s springtime, whatever that means. It must have something to do with the sun peaking out of the clouds again. I’m very excited for our adventures. My human tells me that today is my birthday (whatever that is) and we are going on a great adventure to celebrate! He says it will be a day full of all my favorite activities.
My favorite activities are eating, playing fetch and swimming at the river, so that’s just what we are going to do. The walk to the river is fun as he throws sticks for me to fetch along the way. We often run into other critters: squirrels (my favorite to chase even though my human won’t allow it), birds, mice, lizards; we even saw a bear once! My human tells me the woods are full of dangerous things, so I must stay close to him (to protect him of course).
Finally we get to our favorite swimming hole, and I run and jump right in! My human runs in with me, but he doesn’t stay in the water like I do. He likes to lay on the warm rocks, but today, my dearest human gives me his full attention (since it’s my birthday and all). He never takes a break from throwing the sticks. It really is the best day!
On the final throw, he throws it extra hard and it lands on the other side of the river! I swim across the current (no matter how tired, I never give up on a stick) and find the stick on the bank. This bank feels warmer because there aren’t any trees to shade the rocks. I finally find the stick, but it is right next to an even better stick! This new stick is about the same color and size, but it is striped and one end of it is moving and making a rattling noise. Can you imagine? A stick that moves! My human and I are going to have so much fun with this one!
I try to paw the stick closer to me and the rattling noise is getting louder. It wants to play too! I bend over to pick the stick up in my mouth and….OUCH!!! The pain is so dreadful and I feel like my face is on fire. I’m positive my head is ten times its normal size. Who would’ve thought that a stick can bite? I’m stunned and going into shock and all I can do is yell, “Ow! Ow! Ow!”. That’s when I realize that my human is braving the cold river and swimming across to me. At first, I think I’m in trouble because he has that look like he does when I chew on something I’m not supposed to. I’m barking at him and saying “Dad! The stick bit me! It bit me!”. He takes one look at the stick, still rattling a few yards away, and looks at my face and says “Oh no, Rex! You got bit by a rattlesnake! We must go to the hospital right away!”. I don’t know what a rattlesnake is, but I’m sure it can’t be good. This must be one of those dangerous things that I’m supposed to protect my human from. Well, I think I did my job! I just sure hope I never have to protect him from that thing again!
On the way to the hospital, I try to rest, but I can’t get comfortable because my face is on fire. My human tries to speak calmly to me, but his voice is shaky and I know he’s worried. He keeps mumbling words like “vaccine” and “rattlesnake” and wondering if I’m up to date, whatever that means. I just want the pain to stop.
When we arrive at the hospital, a sweet nurse approaches me and says that she is going to help me. She escorts us into a room (the same room I always get shots in, but I also get treats, so it’s not so bad). She offers me a treat, but I can’t even eat because I hurt too badly. The nurse asks my very worried human questions and assures him that I did have my rattlesnake vaccine this year. My human sighs in relief.
The doctor comes in with a shot (for the pain she says) and injects it under my skin. I don’t mind as long as she doesn’t touch my face, which she doesn’t. She ensures me that she only wants to make me feel better. The nurse then tells me that I’m going to have to stay the night with her in the hospital. I’m scared to leave my human who is telling me that everything will be okay and that I will see him tomorrow, but the medicine must be kicking in because I feel so much better!
My night in the hospital goes well. Of course I miss my human, but the nurses and assistants check on me frequently and give me plenty of belly rubs. I have fluids running into my arm (which feels a little weird) and the nurses give me medicine regularly. When the pain subsides enough, they even give me canned food! What a treat! I only ever get this on special occasions at home. I sleep comfortably through the night and the next morning the doctor is examining me. She is gentle and tells me everything will be okay. I have been feeling much better and I think she and the staff have something to do with that. The doctor then tells me that I get to go home!
I’m so excited to see my human. When I see him in the exam room, I jump in his lap. I really want to lick his face to show him how much I missed him, but my face is too swollen, so I just rub my body against him and wag my tail. I know he’s happy to see me as well. He doesn’t stop smiling and he keeps giving me belly rubs. On the way home, he tells me that I’m lucky I didn’t need the anti-venin (I don’t really know what that is, but I take his word for it). He says my hospital bill would have been twice as much (although he would have paid for any care necessary, of course.) He goes on mumbling how happy he is that he decided to get me vaccinated and he’s so happy it wasn’t worse. I don’t understand all the things he is saying, but I’m happy to be on my way home with the best human ever! Note to self: In the future, don’t play with sticks that rattle!
Check out this link information on the canine rattlesnake vaccine: