Dog bitten by poisonous snake given an hour to live…
A BERWICK dog lover’s pet labrador that was given an hour to live after being bitten by a poisonous snake while camping in the Grampians has survived the horrific ordeal.
Ally Mackenzie was camping with her family and their pet dogs 10 kilometres into the Grampians National Park, near the Rockwall Dam, on 27 December when her black labrador, Macca, returned from an afternoon swim in the river and started convulsing.
A frantic call to the closest veterinary clinic, in Hamilton, revealed Ally’s worst fear – Macca, 7, had been bitten by a venomous snake.
“Macca came up around the gazebo that we were setting up and started convulsing, he really started to heave,” Ally said.
“It was all just green and yellow bile, very slimy.
“Within a couple of minutes he just collapsed, and we’d managed to call the Hamilton vet and they said it sounded like a snake bite.
“You have an hour to get him here.”
Within minutes Ally and her nephew, Shane, piled into his four-wheel drive and high-tailed it to Hamilton.
As Shane sped through the rocky terrain with the clock ticking down, Ally nursed Macca in the back seat, a wet towel wrapped around his ailing frame.
“I was just holding him, trying to keep him awake because the vet said not to let him go into a sleep because it’s like a coma,” she said.
“Shane did a remarkable job getting out of the Grampians, then we got out into the open road and we still had 56ks to get to Hamilton.”
It took Ally and Shane 40 minutes from when they left the camp site to drive to Hamilton, where the vet staff met them and Macca in the car park.
“The vet did say to me that you may need to reconsider, if he doesn’t make it, what you want to do with him,” Ally said.
“And I just thought, you know what, I’m going to wipe that out of my head. I’m not even going to worry about that ‘cause my dog’s gonna make it.”
Macca’s neck was shaved in order to take a blood sample. The results took 10 minutes to come back and confirmed that the dog had been bitten by either a brown or tiger snake – for which the anti-venom is the same.
“I said just put it in because his heart was going,” Ally said.
Macca was injected with 120mls of anti-venom and required to stay at the vet overnight, but the following afternoon Ally was told he would survive and came to pick him up.
She still can’t believe Macca made it home.
“No one will understand, it’s easy to tell a story but no one will know exactly what we went through,” she said.
“That ordeal was horrendous.
“If it wasn’t Shane driving, it would have been a different story. I can’t thank the vet enough for what they did.”
Wildlife Victoria advises that snakes are more active in warm weather, with Australia home to about 140 land snake species and 32 sea snake species.
It’s also advised that pets are kept indoors and on leads if walking to keep them safe.
In case of an emergency, contact Wildlife Victoria on 12 000 WILDLIFE (13 000 94535).