Chesterfield county dog recovering after bite by copperhead

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield county dog is recovering from a copperhead bite.

Four-year-old chocolate lab "KoKo," was attacked by the snake in the backyard of her River Downs’ home Friday.

Her owners, Karen and Jamie Meyer, came home from dinner to find KoKo in bad shape.

"Her side of her face was swollen and her cheek was swollen and she was whimpering and crying and would not eat her food," said Karen Meyer.

Koko snake bite

"There were red puss marks and she was drooling, so it scared us quite a bit. We were scared that the swelling may increase and harbor her breathing and so after speaking with our vet he wanted us to go to the emergency vet just to make sure she was going to be okay," said Meyer.

"They have been really bad this year. The copperheads have been out in droves," said Dr. April Rice with Winterfield Veterinarian Hospital.

She said early treatment can make the difference between life and death.

"They definitely can be lethal especially if they aren't treated. Dogs can go into shock, they can start to have issues with blood clotting and other systemic effects of the copperhead venom," said Dr. Rice.

Koko

"With Koko we started antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and an antihistamine," added Dr. Rice.

Many medications and a $1,000 vet bill later, KoKo is back to her playful self but her owners won't rest easy until her predator is caught.

"We have an eight-year-old son and his friends play out here -- so we're on the lookout for a copperhead snake that could harm any or all of us so it's a bit scary," said Meyer.

Experts said the copperhead sightings should decrease once we have our first freeze.  The snakes will retreat to their dens for winter.