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It wasn't long ago that Manatee
County was mostly forested and
of our wild friends either get
pushed out or become 'urbanized'.
attics seem like
a cozy nesting place. Trash cans
and pet food are easy meals and
swimming pools are convenient
toilets and bathing spots.
harmless as their intentions may
be, some wildlife
can be extremely destructive
to your property.
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the live animal
from your property. I will fix
the damage caused and make preventative
measures so they won't return.
proper wildlife control
we can co-exist with our wild
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County , FL news
Lots of snakes,
too little serum for dogs
By RICHARD DYMOND - email@example.com
Bella can't help it if she likes to
root for rats and snakes.That's what
Jack Russell terriers do.
The little dog, who
lives with Ken and Judy Scheidt, recently
survived a close call when she was bit
in the muzzle twice in five days by
poisonous pygmy rattle snakes in her
Panther Ridge neighborhood.
Due to a shortage of
anti-snake bite serum in Manatee County,
the Scheidts had to rush Bella to Florida
Veterinary Specialists in Tampa.
Bella was released from
the hospital a day after the most recent
bite and is in fine shape, say the Scheidts.
But her ordeal highlights a local problem.
"The major problem
is not the number of snakes in Panther
Ridge, which seems to be a lot lately,
but the lack of an anti-serum for dogs,"
Ken Scheidt said.
There is indeed a national
shortage of snake serum for dogs, said
Dr. Robert Rill of University Animal
Clinic in Cooper Creek, near Interstate
75 and University Parkway, where the
Scheidts take Bella.
"The serum has
been on back-order a year," Rill
said Friday. "Fort Dodge Laboratories
made the antivenin. The problem is that
it is not available now. And there's
not a competitive product on the market."
Dr. Neil Shaw, medical
director for Florida Veterinary Specialists,
which still has some serum in stock,
said the most recent batch of antivenin
produced by Fort Dodge Laboratories
failed to get Food and Drug Administration
wrong with the batch," Shaw said.
"There is a new batch in production."
The shortage should
be over in a few months, but Rill advises
anyone in Manatee County with a dog
that likes to hunt to have their pet
vaccinated against a snake bite, which
is not as good a remedy as snake serum,
but the next best thing.
Red Rock Biologicals
makes a rattlesnake vaccine, Rill said.
"Right now, there
are no other options," Rill said.
Manatee and Sarasota
counties are home to four of the state's
six poisonous snakes, said Gary Morse,
a spokesman for the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission.
water moccasins and coral snakes are
the four varieties in Manatee County.
The other two are copperheads
and cane break rattlers, which are found
north of Gainesville and in the Panhandle
respectively, Morse said.
As for the abundance
of snakes in Panther Ridge right now,
Morse has an explanation.
"What happens is,
in the summer, when it rains, the water
level comes up and snakes are forced
out of their normal areas and are looking
for drier territory," Morse said.
"You will see all sorts of critters,
including snakes, show up trying to
get out of the water."
Richard Dymond, Herald
reporter, can be reached at 708-7917.
Lots of snakes, too
little serum for dogs