Buster recovers from snake bite

Yamanto Vet nurse Amie Elliot with Buster who was bitten by a king brown snake.
Yamanto Vet nurse Amie Elliot with Buster who was bitten by a king brown snake. Sarah Harvey

BUSTER Barnes' loving family can't wait to have him back in their arms again after their big brave boy slayed two savage snakes.

Unfortunately for Buster, the second monster snake gave him a parting shot and latched on to his attacker's lip before it died.

After being bitten on Tuesday, Buster was expected to go home from the vet last night but, despite his size and strength, it was touch and go for a while.

His owner and his vet say Buster's ordeal should be a warning for dog owners to watch out for aggressive and deadly snakes.

Amanda Barnes said her family's eight-year-old American bulldog Buster killed a 1.5 metre brown snake on Sunday and a 1.7m king brown on Tuesday.

"My husband Gavin and our three-year-old Jackson were only three metres from where the snake was - under the trampoline and near the clothesline - but Buster killed it before they knew it was there," Ms Barnes said.

"I've been here 30 years - hubby and I bought the place off my parents five years ago - and I've never seen a snake that big.

Buster was rushed to nearby Yamanto vet surgery where he was given snake anti-venom and put on a saline drip.

"He nearly didn't pull through, even though he's 43 kilos and such a strong dog," Ms Barnes said yesterday.

"We went to see him today and his blood is starting to clot again.

"$1200 it's cost so far but money's no object. He's a fantastic dog. A real family dog with a very soft nature. He's part of the family.

"After it happened, Jackson was jumping around saying over and over again: 'Buster saved me mummy, Buster saved me.' Buster has a beautiful bond with Jackson."

Yamanto vet Tim Rush said that at this time of the year snakes were often very aggressive

"For dogs like Buster that like to attack snakes, that means it's a case of Russian roulette," Dr Rush said.

"Buster has no idea of the danger; it's a thrill to kill it.

"The secret is quick action from the owners. If you act quickly they have a faster recovery.

"The Barneses had Buster here within an hour. Dogs bitten by snakes can have seizures and convulsions, can't walk and collapse and can die in 30 minutes.

"Buster is a big strong dog and it takes a lot of anti-venom to treat him but it also takes a lot of venom to kill him. If it's a fluffy little white dog it would have seen them off pretty quick."

Topics:  animal, brown snake, dog, pet, snake bite, veterinarian



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