CAVE CREEK, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It's rattlesnake season in the valley with warm weather bringing the snakes out earlier this year. But the snakes aren't just dangerous for people; our pets can also be at risk.
One dog has been bitten three times in two years by rattlesnakes.
Warning: the photos in this story of the bites can be graphic.
Honey Bear is a 13-year-old Border Terrier, who just moved to the Valley over a year ago. This past weekend a rattlesnake bit her twice, and as a result, Honey Bear will lose her right eye and has a tough road to recovery ahead.
Two days after she was bitten by the snake most of the swelling has gone down. She and her owner were at home in Queen Creek when they saw a snake laying next to their pet cat.
"Before I could even yell stop Honey Bear she was out the door on the snake and trying to protect her cat, and was bit above her both right and left eye," said Rhonda Millikan.
It was the second confrontation between Honey Bear and a snake. She was bit a year ago, but it wasn't as bad, this time around it is.
The rattler's venom caused critical injuries, Honey Bear lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion, and she lost the function in her right eye.
"In a matter of 10 minutes I got her here and she was unresponsive just in that short amount of time, the venom took effect that quickly," said Millikan.
The animal hospital has treated vie pets for rattlesnake bites this year.
"You want to keep the pet on a leash when you take walks, keep them away from rocky areas and bush areas where snakes like to hide," said Tina Cloud.
Honey Bear's prognosis is getting better; she will have to have surgery on her right eye, but her owner says she is a trooper and has faith that she will make it through this.
"She's been my buddy, my companion all these years, brought me through tough times, I gotta bring her through this tough time," said Millikan.
There is a rattlesnake vaccine for dogs that could lesson the severity of a rattlesnake bite. Vets say you still have to take your pet to the emergency hospital to get it treated as soon as you discover the dog was bitten.