San Diego

Dog Bitten by Rattlesnake in Alpine

The dog is expected to make a full recovery

A 7-year-old dog in Alpine, named Oliver, was bitten by a rattlesnake and rushed to the emergency room by his owners. 

Wendy Gilbert said she was worried her dog was going to die. 

"It was devastating," said Gilbert. 

It happened Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. in her front yard on Curtis Lane in Alpine near the Cleveland National Forest. 

Oliver came back limping after running around. He was also lethargic and wouldn't eat his food. 

"That's when I noticed the swelling on the backside of his leg and all the way down," said Gilbert. "It was like three times the size of what his other leg looked like. 

Gilbert said she screamed for her husband who immediately knew it was a snake bite. 

Oliver was rushed to the veterinarian for tests. They confirmed it was a rattlesnake bite. He was given anti-venom and held for observation for 12 hours. 

"Tears were rolling down my face," said Gilbert. "Because the weather has been weird lately. It was hot then freezing at night then raining Friday. I never thought to keep him in." 

Officials with Animal Services for the County of San Diego said contrary to popular belief, rattlesnake season is year-long in California due to good weather. 

In 2017, there were 1,334 calls to the county about rattlesnake sightings. The most were in Rancho Peñasquitos, with 93 calls made, followed by Scripps Ranch at 81 calls, then Carmel Valley at 79 calls and Otay Mesa at 71 calls, officials said. 

In 2018, there have been 63 calls to animal services of rattlesnake sightings so far. 

By the time Oliver left the vet, he was acting normal again. He is expected to make a full recovery. 

"He came out wagging his tail," said Gilbert. "Compared to 12 hours earlier when he was lethargic. It was amazing." 

Gilbert said she has four dogs and this is the first time any of them had been bitten by a rattlesnake. 

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