CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - San Diego County residents are urged to take precautions ahead of snake season, as more instances of snake encounters come to light.
One way dog owners can protect their furry friends is by getting them vaccinated for rattlesnakes before a bite occurs.
Otay Pet Vets, in Chula Vista, said the anti-venom vaccine is worth the time and money for dog owners. A series of two shots is all it takes to help save pets a ton of pain.
"[A rattlesnake bite] puts the pet through so much," Otay Pet Vets said. "Even here in Chula Vista, going hiking through the trails. You're going to want to have this vaccine."
However, if a bite does occur a dog will still need care from a veterinarian. Receiving a vaccine is not a cure-all for rattlesnake bites.
Otay Pet Vets said receiving the help of a vaccination before anti-venom treatment is helpful to both the dog and owners.
A series of two vaccination shots will cost about $27 per shot. The vaccination shots following the two-shot series are then received annually for the same cost.
A shot of anti-venom after a bite occurs, however, runs about $1,300, not including hospitalization costs for your dog.
While rattlesnake vaccinations can be found at many veterinarians around the county, many dog owners still do not prepare their canines ahead of the season.
"Most of them without the vaccine are fighting for their life," Otay Pet Vets said.
There is no vaccine available for cats.