Durban - It was a close call for a rottweiler named Titan who was bitten by a black mamba after he alerted his owners to the 2.5m venomous snake at their home in Clare Estate last week.
The 3kg snake was rescued by local snake rescuer Nick Evans.
The Mercury reported on Thursday that at first the large dog did not exhibit any signs of a snake bite. However, about 30 to 45 minutes later, Titan started showing symptoms.
Evans said Titan lost control of his body as the neurotoxic venom took effect and he was rushed to Ashburne Veterinary Clinic in Durban North.
In an update on the dog’s condition on Sunday, the Ashburne Veterinary Clinic said while the owners took the dog away from the snake and put him in a safe area, Titan later collapsed and began drooling and experiencing diarrhoea. At this point the dog was rushed to the clinic.
According to the clinic, the main concern after being bitten by a black mamba is breathing.
“Shortly after arrival, these symptoms began to show in the form of his lips turning blue and him gasping for shallow breaths. Thankfully though, the effects of the venom are not permanent, so the real job is to keep him alive and breathing until the venom wears off,” the clinic said.
The clinic said they were called ahead of Titan’s arrival and they were able to call other hospitals and arrange for extra anti-venom.
“Titan was placed in an induced coma and over the course of the afternoon our team of vets and nurses had to monitor him non-stop, keeping him breathing and administering anti-venom.
“Then our night team did the same, giving him intensive care the entire evening and making sure that he made it till morning,” they said.
The clinic said that the next day the day shift team repeated the process.
“Later that morning our day team got to watch Titan wake up,” it said.
The Ashburne Veterinary Clinic said: “A big thanks to Nick Evans – snake rescuer – for all the amazing work he does preserving our wonderful snakes. And well done to Titan’s owners for getting him to us as soon as possible. With snake bites, time is of the essence, the sooner they get to us the better the chances of survival are.”