Dog’s ‘gift’ a timely reminder

Dog’s ‘gift’ a timely reminder

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A Forrestdale woman was shocked when she returned home one morning this month to find her dog holding an enormous tiger snake in its mouth.

In a timely reminder as snake season approaches, a southeast suburb’s family dog was rushed to the vet after a snakebite.

Courtney Brereton came home to her Forrestdale property on October 1 and said she immediately knew something was wrong when her dogs greeted her with a surprise gift.

When Harvey and Koda came to say hello, she noticed Harvey had a dead juvenile tiger snake with him.

“Harvey had it in his mouth,” she said.

“We went to take him to the vet, then Koda collapsed.”

Knowing something was wrong, she rushed both to Forrestdale’s West Coast Vets.

Ms Brereton said when she arrived veterinarians immediately gave Koda anti-venom and checked over Harvey as a precaution.

Harvey was fine, but while Koda was on the path to recovery it would still be a lengthy journey to being back in good shape.

“Koda was in the vet for three days being monitored.”

When Ms Brereton returned home she said garden work was a top priority to ensure there were no repeat incidents.

“We cut back all the bushes and tidied everything up so snakes can’t hide as much,” she said.

“We live on a property so it may happen again.”

More than 500 Australians are admitted to public hospitals after snakebites each year and experts recommend caution if you come across one.

Armadale Reptile and Fauna Park manager Klaas Gaikhorst said the best thing to do is back away.

“Ring someone who can deal with the problem, a snake catcher,” he said.

“There are a lot around.

“Ring up Wild Care Helpline and if they can’t get a hold of them they can ring the police, or ring someone like us.”

Mr Gaikhorst said snakes would usually only strike if you get too close, and they often show they are ready to bite if they stand up in an S shape.

If you are bitten by a snake call triple zero for an ambulance, and apply a pressure bandage and keep the person calm and as still as possible while you wait for help.

Experts did not recommend applying a tourniquet, cutting or washing the wound or attempting to suck out venom.

If you find a snake in a garden or house, contact Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Armadale Reptile Centre can be contacted on 9399 6927.