Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

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Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Mr S » Thu May 20, 2010 12:38 pm

Coincidence would have it that my one dog, a Collie/ Labrador mix, was tagged by a black mamba on Tuesday the 18th May 2010.

Why a coincidence? I have an aviary in my yard which is the permanent house for four mambas and four puff adders. This facility was built to keep all injured or "un- releasable" hots. As circumstance would have it the parks board (Mpumalanga) where I work currently dont/wont have such a facility on their premises so I built one at home.

When my neighbor phoned and said there is a huge mamba on my gate, my first thought was one of mine had got out. Rushed home only to find the snake 22 meters up in a fever tree at my gate. Went to the aviary- all snakes accounted for and no hole in the aviary. Long story short, I noticed the dog salivating a bit- not too serious. I assumed the boerboel had been playing with her as always and had gobbed all over her again. I asked the neighbor a few questions about if the dogs had been close to the snake to which he replied no. About a minute later she started to vomit and her pupils were heavily dilated. Then I knew she was in trouble!

I often receive calls from the vets in and around town regarding venomous snake bites and the treatments thereof and 98% of the time the poor dogs just dont make it. My advice to the affected owners would most often be to say goodbye to the animal depending obviously on how far along the animal is.

Here I was in the catch 22 situation myself! What do you do! Do you give antivenom at R1 100-00 a vial (vet practice price), how much will she need, will she die anyway and you lose the money and the dog, AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH and time is running out by the second- you must decide immediately!

Luckily I left the decision to my wife- I advised the vet to administer 4 vials immediately. "Pepper", the dog, showed no adverse reactions and was looking better- still unconscious but hanging in. Another vial, then another then another, each time her responses becoming more stable. From 15h30 when she was presumable bitten until 24h00 she received 8 vials of antivenom and this was the first time you could really see a positive turn in this event. She could breathe again on her own and by 01h00 in the morning she could almost stand up on her own.

We found the site of the bite, behind her right ear where it joins the head. It is the first full black mamba envenomation succesfully treated in six years in the practice. Says to me that the initial dose of 4 vials and the willingness of us to go as far as it takes, money not being an issue, saved our Pepper. I have learned a lot in this event and now feel even more confident in trying to help others save their animals.

You dont want to see the invoice from the vet but I reckon in 10 years time when I still see Pepper running around i will loo back and say it was all worth it.

Pepper still has a very itchy and warm swelling behind her ear at the site of the bite- I assume this is caused from a mild allergic reaction to the high concentration of modified protein injected into that small area- should go down in a few days but very irritating for her

Thanx for reading- well done Pepper for being so strong
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby LeglessDragon » Thu May 20, 2010 12:43 pm

Good to hear she pulled through. No mattet the price, it is always worth it to save our animal kids.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Rishaad » Thu May 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Shame man. I am glad she made it. Good on you man for spending that kind of money to save a beloved animal. I hope she rewards you with many more years of companionship. Did you guys manage to get the mamba out of the tree?
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Mr S » Thu May 20, 2010 12:50 pm

Rishaad we did eventually- scanned him- no microchip so he was just a wanderer
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby gaboon69 » Thu May 20, 2010 12:56 pm

My old man and I used to see a surge in snakebites around this time of the year since I could remember.
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Good on you MrS.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Warren Klein » Thu May 20, 2010 1:02 pm

You should change her name to "Curry" now that she has survived a mamba bite! Good on you for saving her life.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby froot » Thu May 20, 2010 1:29 pm

Pepper is alive because of your vigilance, well done. It might be worth considering purchasing some of your own antivenom the next time you are in Joburg, it's nearly half the price from SAVP.

Wonderful post.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby rolandslf » Thu May 20, 2010 1:54 pm

I salute you sir, this what makes everyone on this forum such wonderfull people to interact with. Our common love of animals, not just snakes.

You are 100% correct in saying the sacrifice is worth the reward, not to hijack the thread, but, about 6 years ago my little Jack Russell cross Maltese was run over at about midnight. I heard her crying and found her to have 1 eye hanging nearly on the ground and her left front leg obviously fractured.
Where do you get a vet at this time of night, countless phone calls and a very long drive later she was medically attended to. She lost the eye and has a permanent pin in her leg. The moral, never mind the cost, simply to see her have her Ouma Buttermilk Rusk everynight is reward enough.

Kudos to you for not giving up.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Bushbaby » Thu May 20, 2010 3:48 pm

You should offer to replace the antivenom instead of paying for it. BV usually does that with the local vets, they replace the antivenom they use on the animals. Try it! Maybe they are happy since they are still making money on treating the dog.

Glad the story had a happy ending.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Bushviper » Thu May 20, 2010 4:06 pm

That must have been one serious bite for a dog to require that much antivenom. Glad you pulled her through.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby BOOGY » Fri May 21, 2010 3:02 pm

Hell bud sorry to hear! Glad you pulled him through! Maye the mamba was inspecting the smell of others in its range?
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Iggy » Sat May 22, 2010 8:23 pm

Hey there,
glad to hear she made it, think it was lucky it wasn't Peanut though :). Monique's motherly instinct clearly kicked in when she made sure you saw it through :)
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Cradle of life » Sun May 23, 2010 5:54 pm

If you need antivenom again in the future i can give it to you on a replacement loan. Costs just over R700 each delivered. Good job done on a bad situation :idea:
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby MrG » Wed May 26, 2010 11:28 am

Great story. Sometimes it is worth trying to make a difference.
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Re: Mamba bite! Coincidence ??

Postby Snake Charmer » Wed May 26, 2010 1:46 pm

Shame man! That must've been such a shock?!

We lost our Boerboel a while ago due to a suspected puff-adder bite. Not a nice sight to see. Found her dead in her kennel the next morning - she was fine the night before when we said goodnight to her. We have found numerous puff-adders in our garden before (and still do), amongst cape cobras and boomslang (of which we could already identify 4 individuals).
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