Little Cooper survived a venomous snake bite

On July 18th, I had no idea what would happen. Like usual, I let my dogs, Cooper and Winnie, run around outside for a little to play. Before I know it, I’m being called by my dad that one of my dogs, Cooper, was bleeding and something was terribly wrong. It turns out, Cooper stuck his snout through the fence to look into the neighbors yard, and there was a rattlesnake on the other side of it, and it struck him in the facial area. We were absolutely panicking. I didn’t want to lose my little boy. Our vet was closed, and we live so far from 24-hour pet emergency centers that the closest one to us was San Antonio, and it was about a 2 hour drive with a very venomous snake bite in my poor boy’s system. You see, Cooper is a small dog, a chihuahua in fact. Small dogs like that aren’t always guaranteed to survive such a venomous bite. All of the odds were stacked against us, but we weren’t about to give up on him. We wanted to give him a fighting chance.

When he got there, he was immediately taken in. Everyone was so nice and caring during this very difficult time. Dr. Tully was the first to see him, and she talked with us about his treatment and even called to let us know when she was passing along Cooper’s case to the next doctor, Dr. Bauer. She’s also a very important person in this story. You see, she called us about him needing more antivenom and how it wasn’t looking great. She was also the most involved in his case. We decided to make the trip to go and see him in the hospital, and when I saw him in that cage, with such a swollen face, it broke my heart. I wanted him to know that I loved him and that I didn’t abandon him, he was simply getting the medical help he so desperately needed. From that day on, it seemed like Cooper was starting to slowly improve. But then the only issue that remained was he wasn’t wanting to eat. Every time he would eat, he would regurgitate. Dr. Gati was there with us when we went to go visit him again, and she was telling us about how maybe getting that fluid out of his stomach would help him want to eat more. She gave us hope. After we left, they got so much fluid out, and Cooper even ate a little as well! It was great this was all he needed.

We eventually brought him home. He was in the hospital for almost a week. I missed him, my family missed him, and my other dog, Winnie, missed him so dearly. When he came home he was a little shaky and still adjusting to home life again. My mom and I eventually got him to eat a lot more and, after lots of rest, medicine, and eating, my Cooper has returned to his normal self. He’s running around again, wanting to play, and eating hard dog food again. His wounds on his face are still healing, but the swelling is completely gone now!

Thank you so very much to everyone at BluePearl on Broadway, to everyone who watched him and aided in his treatment. Thank you for never giving up on him even though all odds were stacked against him. Especially to Drs. Tully, Bauer, and Gati. You will always have a special place in my heart, and will always remain a vital part of Cooper’s story. I just wanted to share Cooper’s story to let others know that, small animal or not, if you are able, you should bring your pet in and give them a fighting chance. There were so many that doubted my boy, but I never ever gave up on him.

Thank you for saving him. It means the world to my family.

Noelee Gonzalez