I finally got myself and Barker out to the studio to do a bit of batiking and some silk fusion. It was a glorious morning and so I had all of the doors and windows open, and Alison Krauss cranked up on the cd player. Barker was running in and out per usual, keeping track of the comings and goings of the squirrels and the birdies......and apparently the copperheads....YIKES!!! It suddenly occured to me that I hadn't seen him for a while, so I stopped fusing the silk and called for him. When he didn't come, I went out looking. He was sitting next to the pool house looking very strangely. I ran to him and he sort of staggered towards me, with blood running off of his muzzle. It was easy to pick out four fang marks, or puncture wounds. I tried to wash the site off, but he wouldn't let me touch it, so I got him inside and called our Vet. She was sweet as sweet could be, and immediately said the magic words, "He's not going to die". Phew!!! The most important thing was to clean the site with some hydrogen peroxide and also get some Benadryl and Aspirin into him. It was obvious that the pain became excruciating in a matter of minutes, because while I was able to pry his jaws open to get down the Benadryl, it was next to impossible to do the same with the aspirin, only a minute later. Poor baby just stood with his eyes closed, motionless. Apparently the nervous system is affected and it becomes very painful to move. I finally got him down on the kitchen floor and cradled him in my lap (75 pounds worth!) for a long time. It was horrible: I was sobbing and he was wimpering. After a while we both seemed to relax a bit and he began to move around a little. 6 hours later, Barker is beginning to walk around inside the house again, and occasionally lies down, although he seems partial to sitting. His neck is a bit swollen and his muzzle is still huge.
I tried to get a picture of the puncture wounds, but it didn't really come out too well. The black streak is just where blood has run a bit. He won't let us touch anything above his neck, poor baby.