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Snake follow-up

May 23, 2009

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Snake blood or dog blood?

Dog blood.

The American Staffordshire terrier has an injury on her foot, a dew claw when digging out the snake, I would guess. It took until this evening to be sure, when I found her licking it. I cleaned it with a hot compress and hydrogen peroxide. A call to the vet tomorrow will probably result in an Rx for an antibiotic. So, the “what possibly happened” story has evolved–the pit bull apparently did her usual hunt and attack, but when she got hurt the Catahoula stepped in and finished it off. She is the faster of the two, and fully capable of committing as much carnage on a snake as the terrier. But she’s the follower, the second string back yard hunter. She knows better than to come between Cinnamon and her prey. In particular, one of her favorite backyard treats–katydids. Seriously. The pit was stray for many weeks in the prairie near us (I learned this from neighbors after I cleaned her up and started walking her through the neighborhood) and I think she developed a taste for the local fauna that stays with her today. 

The good news is that I’ve confirmed that the snake was non-venomous. This evening I’ve searched and found that the yellow-bellied water snake is my deceased snake. We’ve had these before, along with a few other non-venomous snakes. But even a non-venomous bite can get infected.

The research was enlightening. Good id on the snakes I searched on, and some interesting discussions. But clearly the “tree huggers” are just as zealous as the “kill it first, ask questions later” group. And each group can be equally nasty. Or helpful.

There’s a part two of this update.

Neighborhood cleanup crew--turkey vultures.

Neighborhood cleanup crew--turkey vultures. This is from last year, and they're attending a squirrel.

I hit the same breed of snake when I was out trimming in the front yard this afternoon. Didn’t see it, didn’t notice a 3′ snake fly past, but when I went back by a little later, there was a beheaded snake on my path. I don’t think someone killed the snake and left it there–that makes no sense, so it must have been a lawn care casualty. Darn. Some neighborhood teens walked past when I was scooping it up, so we walked together over to the woods across the road and left the snake for the vultures. The kids come by here to ask questions about plants, animals, rocks, and are enamored of the idea of living in the city and being able to walk into the woods across the road and observe a hawk nest  or turkeys or turkey vultures off in one of the clearings.

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