Rattlesnake Emergency Care

Where and when do rattlesnakes hang out in Colorado?


Most snakes prefer the same type of weather we do. If it is too cold they will find a spot in the sun. If it is too hot they will find a place in the shade. When you are at any of the aforementioned parks or any areas like that or open plains pay special attention and do not let your dogs sniff in certain spots. Better yet, don’t go during the snakey season. Keep them away from under or around rock piles, under or around fallen trees, tall grassy areas and in some cases even what looks to us as the smallest bush or shrub is perfect for a snake.


What to do if a rattlesnake bites your dog?


Much debate for years has gone on over this and there is conflicting advice. Some say never use a tourniquet others say you should. Some say ice others say no. What is agreed upon is do not try to suck out the venom. However, logic would dictate that as soon as a person or animal is bitten the venom becomes systemic almost immediately and certain parts of the body react like the nervous system. If the venom is rapidly in the bloodstream it would not make sense to use a tourniquet if you were bitten on your ankle or a paw or anywhere else for that matter. You can’t very well tourniquet the entire body since in this case it just so happens that unfortunately blood is running through your entire body.


Most common sense approach is to pick up the dog, asking for help if needed and get to your car as quickly as possible. If worse comes to worse, describe your car, where it is parked, throw someone the keys and tell them to drive it to you. Deal with the repercussions of doing that if you get caught after the fact. Get to the nearest emergency vet hospital directions below. Call and tell them you are on the way, if you do not have a cell phone you know that hundreds of others at the park will, ask them to call.


No place else on this web site do I allow copying anything. In this case permission is given to copy and print this information if you frequent either of these two parks. Bear in mind that each vial of anti-venom is around $800.00. Not all hospitals have it in stock so please let them know you are on the way. It can also be treated with the other method of steroids of which effectivness has yet to be proven or disproved.


Hospitals By Chatfield State Park



M-F 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
10148 W. Chatfield Avenue
From Wadsworth:

  • Go north on Wadsworth, (under 470), to first light at Chatfield
  • Turn east or right, past Coal Mine light & Platte Canyon stop sign.
  • Turn left at 7-11
  • Follow road around bend on your right side



County Line & Holly
From Wadsworth:

  • Go East on 470 to University exit
  • Turn north or left on University
  • Go east or right on County Line to stop light at Holly (by carwash),
  • Turn right onto Holly


Hospital By Cherry Creek State Park



17701 Cottonwood Drive
From the dog park at Orchard Road and Parker Road:

  • Turn right on Parker Rd
  • Follow Parker Rd all the way to Cottonwood
  • Turn right at stop light at Cottonwood & Parker Roads
    (Before and not far from 470)
  • It is in the King Soopers shopping strip
  • As you enter the parking lot, the hospital is on your left


BEWARE The Venom: I learned another caution that most people do not know, which I learned from previously working with a toxicologist. He loved to go to the famous Texas Rattlesnake Roundup or what I call the Rattle Walk. Yep, it’s real, been going on a long time and it was not a pretty sight for me I can assure you.film Sherlock: The Final Problem streaming


He had an extremely dead, stuffed, and mounted rattlesnake on his desk. Whenever I went into his office, I never sat with my back facing Stuffo the Snake. Finally after a number of years I summoned the guts to pet the sucker, of which I was scared senseless. As I was about to touch Stuffo’s fangs and mouth, he came in and yelled, “DON’T TOUCH THE FANGS” which naturally made me jump 50 feet out of my skin.


What I did not know and verified this in case he was just messing with me is that the venom can stay in the fangs/mouth for almost 20 years. He said that is why ranchers if they have to shoot one always make sure they find the fangs. (This is also apparently a grand time for some of the people who live off Titan Road on the west side of town.) So if you happen to shoot one in your backyard, look for all the parts.