Family warning others after dog bitten by copperhead snake

A Harrisburg family has a warning for pet owners after their dog was bitten by a copperhead snake. They want families to know the symptoms, so they can act quickly and save their pets lives.

"It was very scary. It was just the not knowing,” said Tracy Hladik.

Her dog, Parker, a Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel mix, is normally quite a playful pup.

Tracy’s husband Chris Hladik explains, “He’s (Parker is) playful. He likes to play around in the yard, chase the squirrels, all those sorts of things. But he just happened to find the wrong one to play with. It was definitely scary for a while.”

Parker was bitten by a copperhead snake four times, twice in the face, in his neck, and on his front leg in the family’s backyard in the Rocky River Crossing neighborhood of Harrisburg just a few days ago.

Parker’s face is swollen in pictures the family took right after the bites.

“When he came inside he was yelping and wouldn’t put any weight on his leg,” Tracy said.

Parker got anti-venom treatment to help take away the pain, and he’s mostly back to normal now.

And his owners are doing all that they can to keep the snakes away.

“We don’t want to give them any place to hide or lurk around,” Tracy said about the snakes.

Chris cut away the monkey grass and brush at the family’s home.

“I spent the other day cutting it down and rounding up it, to get rid of it. We definitely don’t want to go through this again, with our other two dogs as well.”

The vet told the Hladiks they treat pets that have been bitten by snakes four to five times a week. 

The family wants to warn others to know the symptoms.

“He had a lot of drainage from his eyes and nose, and he was drooling a lot, and of course, panting.”

And they hope people will avoid a common mistake.

Tracy said, “Benadryl is not going to help them. Chris added, “So that would be more of a false safe of ‘we’ve done something, let’s see what happens later,’ well later could be too late.”

Luckily, sweet Parker got the help he needed in time.