Durban – A family dog is recovering at a vet after having a close encounter with a black mamba at a Clare Estate home on Wednesday.
Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans said the home owners saw the dog chasing the snake and reacted quickly, getting the dog away from the snake and locking it away.
Evans says this is exactly what one should do should you notice your dog attacking a snake.
He said when he arrived he could see the mamba looked agitated. He approached it slowly, and tried reaching for its neck with tongs.
“Well, unsurprisingly, it didn’t like that. It raised up a bit further, opening up its mouth at me (gaping).
“In all honesty, I was a tad nervous. It didn't have anywhere to go, except in my direction. I was sure it wouldn’t come at me, they never do, but if there was a situation where one might, it was this one,” said Evans.
He said he finally managed to get the tongs on the neck, and bring the head down to within reaching distance and grab its head. He said the snake while only 2.5 metres long was at least 3kg.
Evans says he didn’t know about the dog scaring the snake away until he was done with his rescue, then he checked on the Rottweiler.
“Titan, the enormous Rottweiler, seemed absolutely fine. The owner was happy with how he was, and didn’t think he was bitten. It had been about 20 minutes. No symptoms in that time is good, but doesn’t mean a dog is safe. I had a call where the dog started showing symptoms after an hour.”
He told the owner to monitor him extremely carefully.
“Sometime in the next 30-45 minutes, Titan started showing symptoms (excessive drooling, diarrhoea). He basically lost control of his body as the neurotoxic venom took effect. He was rushed to Ashburne Veterinary Clinic in Durban North.
“It was touch and go for a while, even until this morning (Thursday). Anti-venom had been sourced.”
Evans was happy to report that the dog woke up after being in an induced coma and on a ventilator, and was being monitored carefully.