Don't go any further South! SC has at least 5 types of poisonous snakes. And from what I learned, the vaccine available is really only good for western diamondbacks. Don't have those in the east. We lived around all kinds of reptiles for many years and never had a problem. But it can happen anywhere down there!
He was bitten by a copperhead. Cottonmouths, copperheads and rumors of rattlesnakes where our farm is down there are what I am worried about. I read the RJ article but I don't have access to vipers with their mouths stitched shut.
My husband did something late last summer that seems to have really helped our lab not get bitten. He killed a rattlesnake and then let her get close to it to sniff at it. When she got close she got a strong reprimand of "NO, BAD" as well as a nick with her ecollar.
2 weeks later he was walking through the woods down a trail, she was out in front of him and had run down a path where he encountered and killed a 6' rattler. She did what she should, she ran right past it without stopping to sniff at it. Snakes have a distinct odor, and if they are taught that this is "bad" they will avoid it.
If we have a chance to reinforce it this year we will.
Here in Arizona, we have 13 different species of rattlesnakes. The western diamondback is most often used in snake avoidance training as it has the most generic odor. Unfortunately, a highly dangerous rattlesnake, the Mojave, gives off no odor. The rattlesnake vaccine only allows about 2 hours to get to a vet for treatment and then it had better be a vet that has the antivenom. Not all carry it and the treatment is very expensive. Another culprit extremely dangerous to dogs is the Colorado River Toad. When dogs try to mess with it or try to pick it up, it secretes a highly potent toxin that affects the nervous system. The dog usually gets an extremely high fever, convulsions, and dies. The only solution is if you see it happen, you get a hose and wash the mouth out liberally and then get to a vet FAST.